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Thursday, April 12, 2018
By Amanda Reed Photography
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It seems like I often want to write when my heart is heavy. Possibly because God knows those of us here on Earth can relate and know we aren't alone. 


Leona McGraw 2/24/42 -- 4/16/11

Rodney McGraw 9/1/39 -- 4/13/13

Vanessa McGraw 7/6/62 -- 4/16/14


Within a 3 year span my grandparents and my mom passed away. From 2011 until today I have been adapting to a new way of life. A different mindset and a whole new lifestyle. I wasn't left with an inheritance..... I was left responsibility. Like most things I have faced in life......this would be no exception. It Is Hard. 

We know we all have an end date. I just wasn't prepared for theirs to be so soon or close together. They all came by surprise. Most things do.

Since then I have been watching my children grow and accomplish things. Things that I want to pick up the phone and let them know. 304-438-9167..........they won't answer if I call. It takes me by surprise how fast the thought can come into my mind before it drowns out in my soul. That split second of excitement thinking you can share your joy but you can't. Now I know I can pray and I can speak to them spiritually. I can recall their voices...their fingernails. The lines in faces. 

This story doesn't end with a happy ending. This story is real life. No fairy tales here for me and most likely none for you either. What else can we do but be real and raw about grief. Days get easier and sleep comes again but the longing, that never goes away. The breakdowns in your local grocery store when you see the yams at Thanksgiving or when you see the first Spring butterfly, they stay, at least for now, they stay. 

My grandpa talked about his mother every day of my life and she never lived one day that I breathed. That is grief. That is pain I now know. Pain that only gets replaced with the sound of my children laughing. Watching them grow and live and that makes the knowledge of my own death humbling. I know this time.... our time.... it is an exhale and its gone. 

I could exploit this whole conversation and say take all the pictures but I am going to say........ feel every moment....all the emotions. I leave my camera at home during 99% of my children's activities because I want to see it through my eyes and not my camera lens. I want to feel it in my fingertips. Photographs are a gateway to a time we can no longer participate in. Life is in the participation. Your fans.... they should be the ones that love you back. Your like count....those should be the number of smiles in a day. The number of should be reflected in the people who show up for those moments when you don't want to participate and not measured by Mark Zuckerberg Your blog should be one that is lived out loud and only written when time allows. The longer that I spend sharing this with you the less time I have participating but it must be shared. You must know that right now is the most important time of your life. Right now........while I type, you are my most important moment. So please do not read and go back to your social media accounts, your television programming. Life is asking you to participate. 



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