It’s taken awhile…….

I didn’t realize it until recently, but I had shut down creatively since my friend Paul died. We used to garden together and I stopped. He used to admire my photos, and I pretty much stopped taking them. I’m finally starting to accept the fact that my friend isn’t coming back. It’s spring and it’s time to start gardening again, I’ve charged up the battery in my camera and it’s time to start shooting photos again.

Here’s a copy of the memory of him I posted not long after his death.

“Paul was a very gentle and humble person, and he loved, and cared about other people. Every time he saw me he would greet me with his enthusiastic “HI!,how are you today?” And then he would listen, really listen, because he cared. With his gentle and caring nature he even won over a surly roommate!

He was friends with everyone in the apartment complex, and loved the children. He was the first one to introduce himself when we moved here and I still remember meeting him for the first time.

When he was in the hospital he made friends with the nurses and knew them all by name. He would greet them with his usual enthusiastic “HI, how are you today?” They were sad to see him go. I doubt they get many patients as pleasant as he was.

He also made friends with an old man who was a permanent resident there. He never had any visitors and didn’t talk to anyone. Of course Paul got him to open up and they had several conversations.

He appreciated little things, a songbird, a beautiful garden, a drive around the bay, or a hike with his brother.

He had a quick wit and I could always depend on him to cheer up my day by making me laugh.

He will always have a special place in my heart.”

paul42

I will miss you my dear friend

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Living with Grief. One Father's Journey

animal portraits

Back on March 18, 2013, my youngest son, Ethan, took his own life.

I have two sons. Justin is the oldest. Ethan was the youngest. He was just over 20 years old as he was away at college at the time.

And the event was devastating. My world… our world- was shattered.

Since then, I have grieved. I have tried to heal. I have tried to stay out of the darkness. I have looked for hope. I have sought health and resisted the urges of isolation, anger, and bitterness, addiction, and pity. It is in its own way, still a function of my love for my son… grief. So to cast his life in some positive light… to make something good from grief- it is an act of will. It is a set of decisions and mindset made daily.

Since then I have kept busy. I have gone back to…

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Imprints by Paul Foster

East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines

An old man’s thought of school.

An old man gathering youthful memories and blooms that youth itself cannot.

Now only do I know you

O fair auroral skies—

O morning dew upon the grass!

And these I see, these sparkling eyes, these stores of mystic meaning, these young lives

Building, equipping like a fleet of ships, immortal ships, soon to sail out over the measureless seas

On the soul’s voyage. 

Only a lot of boys and girls?

Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?

Only a public school?

Ah more, infinitely more;

…And you America, cast you the real reckoning for your present?

The lights and shadows of your future, good or evil?

To girlhood, boyhood look, the teacher and the school.

                                                         …

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