Friday, December 30, 2011

Adieu to 2011, Our Gratitude to You

by Tina Case

Things do not change; we change. -Henry David Thoreau

Every New Year offers a chance to reset, to begin anew.  As we close this last day of 2011, I want to take the time to reflect on what has been a pivotal year, a year that I would never have imagined in my wildest thoughts.

At exactly midway through this year my life changed in ways I can barely describe, in ways I have yet to discover.  I'll never forget when my husband delivered the life altering and unexpected news, that my oldest brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A cancer that has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer.

From that very moment my life purpose and my center of gravity changed.  As the youngest sister, my big brother means the world to me.  As long as I can remember I have adored him and looked up to him.  With only 5 years between us and two other siblings, our foursome was my foundation.  I realize how my childhood is where I draw my strength and familiarity.  So when that foundation changes, you cannot anticipate how it will affect you.  

Your hands hold your future.

I will write more about those changes as the new year unravels.  Meanwhile, I am thankful for so many things and wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to our Behind the Lens series.  Each of you inspire us, motivate us and push us to achieve our dreams.  The first photographers who agreed to participate in our interviews are our pioneers (THANK YOU Kelly, Kevin, Lauren Jean).  You each helped us carve out our territory in the world of photography blogs.  And soon after our first few wonderful pioneers paved he way, Alex Beadon and Isabelle Lafrance, rock stars in the world of photography, agreed to give their time and be interviewed.  More and more of our favorite rock star photographers agreed to be interviewed and we clicked up to nearly 850 "likes" on our Facebook page in 2011. 

For all who helped us see through new eyes and learn that we are capable of more than we dared dream, a picture is worth a thousand ways of saying thank you.

To my friend Kristina, you have given me the constant push to believe and achieve. Everyone needs someone who gives them that extra push, to strive harder, achieve more and dream the impossible.  I experienced your journey with the Shutter Sisters camp through your eyes and words and hope to participate one day when the time is right for me.  This year was not my year to attend.  And thanks for keeping up this blog when I could not find the energy mid-way through the year.

Sadly my brother passed away in November, just weeks before his 59th birthday.  He lived a good life, a full life.  But he had more, so much more to achieve.  It is in his memory that I am forever motivated to aim higher, see failure as progress, live with integrity, worry less and live with a purpose.  For that is how he lived his life and in doing so taught me how to live mine.
Through my brother's eyes.

My resolution to this year echoes with the following lyrics that play over and over in my mind.  By one of my brother's favorite bands, it would be blaring from his basement room when we were growing up.  

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." - From The Beatles

Adieu 2011, I welcome a fresh start to a New Year.

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