Sunday, January 22, 2012

My last photo of Aimee

Aimee and Rowan feeding tarpon. It's
the last photo I took of Aimee.
Those who know me know I used to really be into photography (still am, when I have time). I combined my love of travel with photography and had a fantastic time. Much of that changed when I got married and we had Rowan.

I thought on this trip I'd have the chance to take a lot of pictures, but it didn't work out that way. Partly because we spent a lot of time staying around the vacation house (mostly at the pool), which is what you're supposed to do on vacation, right? But also because I just wasn't that motivated to take pictures. It was more important to me to just BE there with Aimee and Rowan.

Hence, the last photo I took of Aimee was two days before her accident. We (Aimee, Rowan and I) had driven about 20 minutes south to a place where you could feed tarpon. Rowan was pretty interested in this until she saw how big tarpon are and how far out of the water they'll jump to get the food you have. Then she was far more inclined to let ME do the feeding!

After I'd gone though most of our bucket of fish, I invited Aimee to take a turn. And as she took her turn feeding the fish, I took one quick snapshot of her leaning out over the water, Rowan next to her, waiting for a tarpon to jump up and grab the fish out of her hand. Turns out Aimee was not all that keen on how high the tarpon jumped either. :)

After we were finished, we walked around outside, where there were a few stalls of crafts. Inside one, we found beautiful crosses made out of seashells. We bought one, talking about which wall in our bedroom we wanted to hang it on.

I still haven't hung it up.

Looking back, I wish I'd taken more pictures that week. It was the last week of Aimee's life, and I wish I'd captured more of it. I can't help but look at them now and think about how close to the end of her life she was, and she didn't even know it. None of us did. I see that same smile on her face and in her eyes and looking back now I almost wish I could say to her through time to those days, "Enjoy this! Soak this in! Keep these moments in your heart and hold on to them very tightly during these last hours of yours on earth!" And then I realize that maybe it's me that I want to scream those words to, because Aimee now has eternity to soak in the moments and I'm left grasping at memories that are already weaker than I want and tainted so much by the sadness of what happened just two days later.

It sounds so cliche, but it's true. You truly never know which day will be your last on earth. At the very least, tell those you love that you love them.


  1. Pat, it seems as though human nature dictates that we don't allow ourselves the time to cherish the little things that make up every day life. I, myself, had a horrific experience in my adult life - not really so long ago, though it seems like a lifetime has passed - one that taught me to stop and smell the flowers, cherish each and every second wether happy or sad, that God has continued to allow me to spend in this life. No one gets to know when their last moment will be, let alone when that of another may be, and all too often it happens that we lose someone we wish we had the chance to tell "I love you" one last time. I have felt your sorrow so keenly, and I empathize as well as sympathize - for I have been closer to your position than I had ever thought I'd be - though not exactly a duplication of it. So that you know, I am forever greatful for having the pleasure of being in your life as a young girl, from knowing you period - and for the love of your frienship. I'm sure you weren't aware, because I have always kept a pretty low profile, that even though we moved away and I haven't returned but 3 times since then, I have always kept tabs on my oldest and dearest friends from the beach. I am very proud of you and what you have done with your adult life - and prouder still of the wonderful husband and father you are - because nothing (not even the physical loss of your Aimee) takes away that status - just as nothing takes away the name of Daddy. Thank you for all that you've shared in your loss, Pat. I don't know of many that would be so strong.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I am happy at least to say that I do not have any regrets. I always told Aimee how much I loved her, how special she was, and I don't look back now and wish I'd said those things. That is a huge relief.