When I heard the news that Aunt Mary had passed away, I was shocked. I was in disbelief. I was instantly heartbroken. We had just shared a nice visit at my mom and dad’s anniversary party on Monday, and it didn’t seem possible that she was gone. When I talked with others who knew Aunt Mary, they all had such great memories to share. She was a very special lady, and extremely kind hearted. She was always smiling. I knew that I wanted to make an image in memory of the wonderful life that Aunt Mary had led. I had hopes of getting out and shooting the sunset or sunrise in the days following her passing, but with other activities that I had to attend, that didn’t seem like a possibility. Around 8 o’clock on Wednesday May 21st, David, the kids and I were packing in the van to head for home from Ludington, when I looked towards the lakeshore. The fog that had plagued the lakeshore all day had lifted, and the sky was beautiful. David ordered me to the shoreline while he took the kids home. I thought about where I wanted to shoot. I thought of the strength Aunt Mary had and that even after being diagnosed with polio at a young age, she never stopped pursuing the things that she loved. It quickly became obvious to me that I needed to head towards the First Curve at the Ludington State Park in order to photograph the jetties. These jetties always stand tall through the waves, even when the ice and snow surrounded and covered them during this brutal winter. I walked down to the waters edge and took a look around. Standing there, I previsualized a photograph that would show the motion in the waves because it would remind me of the fluidity of music, one of Aunt Mary’s loves. It was important to me to nail the technical aspects of the photograph in order to honor Aunt Mary’s love of education. Lake Michigan was very cold, but I KNEW to get the composition that I was envisioning I had to roll up my pants, take off my shoes and get in the water. I am not a fan of water, especially ice cold water, but I was reminded again of the strength that Aunt Mary had shown during her lifetime. We all miss Aunt Mary and always will. Her big smile, laughter, and ability to see the best in every situation will be remembered for generations to come by her family and friends. I love you Aunt Mary!

Mary's Song

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