My Aunt Gail passed away last night from pancreatic cancer. I will miss her so. She always had a smile, always had joy, always was truly interested in the people she was talking to and she loved talking to people. Her eyes twinkled and she had a certain kind of laugh especially when she felt like she was discovering something new about you. She reveled in her connections to others and was one of the most positive people I have known.
As I get older I realize how difficult it is to be a positive person in today's world. To live life to the fullest and to truly have joy. Joy is a powerful word. I have no doubt that she had to battle all of the same things that the rest of us do, but it never showed.
She was married to my uncle for 50 years. She asked me to photograph their 50th wedding anniversary party this past summer and I am so glad that I did. Two of my favorite photos from that day are below. The first one is her with my uncle and the string of children and grandchildren that is their legacy. The second one is of her dancing with my uncle reaching out to her granddaughter and grandson.
When I look back at my life I want to see joy not sadness. I will have to battle every day. And when I feel like I'm losing the battle I will think back on her and look at the pictures and remember a joyful life.