An Open Letter to My BFF (Best Furry Friend)

My Sweet EMME,

You’ve been my best friend for nearly 16 years. You’ve comforted me through some of the worst times of my life and shared my joy during the best times. Some would say I rescued you, but instead it was you who rescued me. Of the many lessons you’ve taught me those that stand out are patience, how to be myself and how to slow down. When I brought you home with me you had been a stray running free on the roads of Indiana. You were young, wild and free spirited just like I always wanted to be. What I did not know then but I know now is that you were living in fear and anxiety, much like me. You did not find comfort in my needing to hold you. You pulled away when I tried. But, in time, and without me even knowing you began to look to me for comfort. We came together finally, with patience. And, I learned how to wait for things.

I love the way you would get that crazy little rush of adrenaline when I got home from work. And,  you would  tear through the house while I sang you that silly little Boobala song we made up. The joy I felt at these times will stay with me forever. You lived each day being you, that crazy little sweet short legged big eared Basset Hound with a crooked leg. You’ve always said to me with your eyes, after pulling one of your little shenanigans, that you loved yourself just the way you were. You never cared what anyone thought of you, you just went about the business of being you. Through all this you’ve taught me that it’s ok to be me, it’s ok to cut loose and be silly, and it doesn’t matter what other people think.

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I will always remember how you hounded me incessantly on my days off and the days I had a late start. How many times I took you for a ride in the car so you could go the park and run your little legs off while you smelled everything in sight. And, near the end so you could waddle slowly as I stood for you to have your fill. These adventures always included my camera and together, over the years, we learned my craft. In the beginning, I was shooting everything. Afraid that I would miss something. As the years went by we slowed the pace, both of us. You because you became more settled and then later because your numbers increased and arthritis slowed you. And me, because I also became more settled and because what I could not say out loud I learned to say with my camera. So I began to look for things to express myself. As the years passed I began to focus more specifically like using a large aperture to gain a small depth of field to lead the viewer’s eye. Only it was my eye that was being led. Slowing down with you helped me grow patient, for what I want to say will come to me, in time. You helped me discover what moves me and to move past what doesn’t. And it’s ok. You helped me pay attention to my feelings and allow myself to feel them. As it turns out. That’s ok too. I developed a sense of self which translated to the work. And it feels good, so good that I dread what comes next, without you. What will become of me and my work, now that you are gone? Much of my photography for the past 16 years has included you. How can I do it without you? How will my work change? What and where will I shoot? Well, it’s been said that life is change and change is good. So, I guess I’ll just keep moving forward and see what the next good thing is to come into my life. You should know though that whatever it is it’s all because of you.

And now as you move into your new life your spirit stays with me. What you couldn’t give me at first you leave with me now. And no matter what, you will be with me, and in everything I do, ALWAYS.

I will not say goodbye to you, because you will never be gone from my heart. I will only say what I would say to you each night I tucked you into bed…”Good Night BooBoo…..See you in the morning.”

Love, Mama

This entry was posted in documentary, family, friends, portrait.