three years   26 comments

Posted at 2:44 pm in being alone,Don,future,loss,memory,sabrina

And so another year comes to a close as the next begins. This evening, it will be three years since Don died. I’ve just spent the past few hours, choosing some photos for this post. A few are older, taken in the years before Don became ill. Some, such as the above image, were taken in the months between his diagnosis and death. I have not looked at the later photos too much since taking them as it has just been too painful. However, to avoid them is to avoid acknowledging that difficult part of our lives.

The above photo is how I like to remember Don – healthy and strong – busy taking GPS readings and recording field notes. It’s a scene that was repeated many times during our hikes year-round every weekend. Don and I hiked and canoed just about every trail we knew of in eastern Ontario. I took photos while he recorded our sightings.

Above is Don with a young Sabrina. She is about two or so years old in this photo – not really too much different in age from Sage. Now, Sabrina is in the twilight of her life. I hope to take her to Arizona with me in October, but am sure this will be her final trip – a fact that makes me quite sad as it seems like she is one of the last tangible connections to Don.

This photo was taken on the trail along the Illinois River in the Siskiyou region of southeast Oregon. In 2006, Don flew out to join me part way through my photography travels of the Pacific Northwest. I am so glad that he decided to come west so that I could take him to so many of my favourite places in Oregon and northern California. He loved it there and talked of returning to explore more of the coast – but of course, that did not come to pass.

A couple of years ago, I posted a different view of this little scene. I decided to put this one up as it has such a familiar feel to it. Evenings were often spent sitting reading in the living room. This was our family time – Don, Sabrina and me.

This photo was taken at the farm shorty after Don’s diagnosis. At this point, we were spending most of our time at the farm as Don was dealing with the effects of chemo and radiation treatments. Regardless of his illness, he made a point of getting out for walks each day in order to stay strong and to keep our lives as normal as possible throughout that time.

The above photo was taken moments after the top photo in this post. I debated whether to include it, but decided that it was good to share. That day, we had returned from a meeting with the doctors, picked up Sabrina, and went for a walk at Baxter Conservation area. We talked a bit, but mostly tried to relax and adjust to latest bombshells. Don was always pretty at ease with the whole thing. In fact, so was I. It was difficult for both of us, but we both felt that the best way to deal with things was to get out and spend time in those places we most loved. In the months to come, we would find our greatest peace resting in the sunlight in those places we knew so well.

This is among the last photos that I have of the two of us together. It makes me both happy and sad. I have not looked at it more than a couple of times in the past three years. Don was not well, but as always, he was smiling.

This last photo was taken in autumn 2006, on a beach near the town of Trinidad in northern California. It is how I beslt like to remember Don. Although my life has changed considerably over these past three years, these photos bring me close to certain moments. To me, it is as though they happened yesterday. I still feel the same toward Don now as I did then.

To Don. I miss you -I love you – and that will never change.

Written by bev wigney on September 6th, 2011