It's been a long time since I took to writing on my blog and I have spent the last three+ years kind of wandering around in a fog, wondering what to do with my life. About a year ago, I got into a really bad car accident and broke my back, but I'll write about that another day, if I can keep the momentum of this writing thing going.
You'll have to bear with me, as it's been so long since I did a post that I keep forgetting to save my work before exiting to retrieve something I want to use and this might be fairly jumbled.
Today, I wanted to write about hope and what I tried to do for my best friend during her ferocious fight with terminal breast cancer. If you read Jenny Lawson's blog (The Bloggess), you might remember the Traveling Red Dress Project. It was a way to drag yourself out of whatever mental illness you might be fighting at the time and feel beautiful for a day. Or empower yourself if you were feeling particularly unempowered. Or help with horrifying anxiety that makes you want to hide under your desk at home because your mind has convinced you that under your desk is the only place you feel somewhat safe You can read about that in my post here: Our Red Dress Moment.
The day before the shoot, I went to a local bridal store to try on dresses and send photos to Malea, since she was unable to come out and try them on for herself due to being sick as a dog. She and her mother planned on coming out the next day and picking one of a few dresses that I had brought along and we would have a wonderful shoot that for just one day would make her (hopefully) forget about the cancer and once again celebrate what a wonderful friendship we had. Malea is the only woman who I ever was as close to as a a sister. I wanted to have one more of those moments of feeling that close.
The evening before the shoot, I got a call from her saying that she had been taken to the hospital by ambulance because she couldn't breathe. There would be no photo shoot. No sister moment. No feeling beautiful for a day. We had even set up my hairdresser to do makeup and my hair (she was without hair at that point, but we hoped to find a pretty headband or something to complement her beautiful baldness). I had tried to cover every base I possibly could. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be.
On October 21, 2012, Malea passed away. It was the end of a beautiful friendship, but not the end of my memories of our wonderful friendship over the past ten years, when we met at the bus stop when our sons were heading off to kindergarten. Those kids are now 19 years old and adults. It's hard to believe so much time has passed.
As some time went on, I had an idea. I was going to go ahead with the shoot. But it would be me and it would be pink. I was changing up the color to honor the fight Malea had put up against breast cancer. It took a little planning, but here are a few shots of that photo shoot:
|Photo Credit: Misty Higgins (Moments by Misty - Winchester, VA)|
In the last photo, You can see a round sphere of light. Misty actually changed this picture to black and white to try to remove the sphere. The minute I saw it, I thought of the belief that orbs and spheres that show up in photos but don't show through the viewfinder are actually the spirit of someone who has passed away. I like to think that sphere represented Malea's spirit and that she knew what I was doing to honor her memory.
I don't have a good way to wrap this up, mostly because I didn't get any sleep last night, but I had an impulse to get back onto my blog and catch you up on everything that's happened since 2013. There's so much in those three+ years that it's hard to know where to start, so I thought I'd put this one out there. I hope that I can somehow show Jenny Lawson what I did and let her know that it was a direct result of her Red Dress Shoot that she did so many years ago. I just finished reading her new book Furiously Happy, and I needed to tell her that she has had so much influence on my life. I got to the last page (again) and since I didn't have anything in my nightstand I wanted to read, I turned back to the first page and started over. No pressure, Jenny, but I read everything you write. Ok, I want to read everything you write - I've had a couple of bad years, but I've read both of your books many times and I have your third on preorder. I think your third book is going to be my favorite.
Jenny, I am your number 25. I know you have a lot of them, but I am one of them.
Thanks for reading and if you have any connection to Jenny, please let her know this is dedicated to her.