i'm back home, from a weekend in phoenix.  i went there with this fantasy of peace and healing.  i left there with a greater understanding of my past, some new relationships with my extended family and...sadness.  turmoil.  about so many things. my grandfather passed away a couple weeks ago, at the age of 98. but i'm not sad about that. bupa suffered from severe dementia the past 10 years and it was time.  he lived a great life and it was time for him to find peace (and nanny) again.  his service was small. simple. beautiful. perfect.

but other things happened over the weekend that were not so beautiful. nor perfect. lots of tears shed. i'm actually still trying to digest it all and figure things out.  figure something...anything out. i guess with more knowledge and understanding, also comes lots of confusion.


while at my aunt's house saturday evening, we looked at so many fabulous old photographs, which has left me flooded with thoughts and emotions.  i view this amazing history of my past and then i think, what the hell kind of history am i leaving for my own family?  nothing.  except controlled, beautiful images -- most of which are riddled with this disease called perfectionism.  what the hell?!!  i'm so mad and frustrated with myself.  what am i doing? what have i done?

i've talked to myself about all this before but it now pains me in a deeper way. i'm determined to make a change. i'm praying i can find that place, where i can be my family's visual historian.  true historian. not superficial photographer that takes kick-ass pictures of her kids kind of historian.

i have no real memories of my past, except those i see in photographs. and i wonder...

what memories will my children have? in their mind. in the photographs left behind.

lots swirling right now. and really...i'm still trying to reel it all in. and digest it all.

sadly, i took very few photos while in pheonix.  another problem i struggle with. i hate to bring my camera anywhere (thoughts i'll save for another blog post).  but here's a couple i did take --

the extended rouse family. i'm far left. my dad is next to me. and my sister (38) has short dark hair, next to the man with the red tie.

and another of my cousin's daughter, holding the card from my bupa's service.  she carried the cards around for much of the evening.

p.s. i'm really missing my husband right now.  he's in the philippines for a couple weeks. and the equipment he shipped in september is still not there. so now we're not sure if he'll be home for thanksgiving (he was originally due home on the 23rd). another moment of life as a military spouse.