once in a lifetime

For those of you who don’t know, I love my Grandma. I mean, I REALLY love my Grandma. She is funny, smart as a whip, thoughtful, considerate, hospitable, loving, and a woman whom I hope to be like someday. She and I used to play cards together on a weekly basis when I lived in Kirkland, and by play cards I mean my Grandma would beat me at cards. It has been the hardest thing for me to have given up by moving north. Luckily I do a lot of work down south and she hosts me. When I come for a visit I always ask for stories. Stories of her childhood, marriage, being a Mom of 5, and her friends. My favorite stories often include my Grandpa Norman, the first love of her life. She would tell me stories about the good times and the hard times, but the overriding theme was always love. Looking at her wedding photos, their connection is plain as day and it makes me tear up to see their love preserved so beautifully.  As a wedding photographer I strive to capture moments like these. Moments that grandchildren can look at and feel the connection and love that their grandparents had. They were married Feb 14th 1951, and I would love to honor their love by sharing a few of their wedding photos with you.

 

Another fun fact, I’m writing a book on the number 5. It’s a really long story but basically the number 5 started stalking me in 2002 and I began taking pictures. Last year on Feb 14th something amazing happened to me and it was about my Grandma, Grandpa and their love. I see it fitting to share my work in progress to you. This is a sample tidbit towards the end of my book, so you may not fully get it, but what the heck, I’m sharing it anyway.

 

Mission from beyond

In my search for meaning surrounding “Why the 5s?”, something occurred to me. My Grandfather Norman was a numbers man. In fact, he always told his children to pay attention to the clock when multiple matching numbers would appear. He said it would be his way of communicating to them from the other side. Was my Grandpa trying to communicate with me? When he was alive, he was a sign maker by trade and in the afterlife; perhaps he is just a different kind of sign maker.

On the morning of 2/14/2013, I felt my Grandpa Norm tell me I should buy my Grandma Beverley flowers from him and tell her that he still loves her. I happily agreed and went on with my day. I should mention that hearing from dead relatives doesn’t happen to me, or at least it hadn’t till then. I had a photo-shoot in Seattle of my naturopath’s child Bennett, who was born on 2/14/2012, and I figured I could swing through Pikes Place Market after to find some beautiful flowers. I had forgotten about the minor detail of having cash to accomplish my mission partially because I was in “work” mode, and partially because my kids were in the back seat leaching 50% of my brainpower as we drove into the city. I should also mention, my kids are usually with my husband when I work, but it was a weekday (zero child care), and being that my client was also their Dr, she wanted to see them, so I agreed.

As we were wrapping up our shoot, I realized I didn’t have any cash for the flowers. I let the thought wash over me because I knew I would figure something out, plus I’m sure one of my kids was dangling from my neck stealing my oxygen as well.  As we began packing our bags back up, Anna asked me what I was up to next and I told here I was off to buy flowers for my Grandma at Pike Place Market – flowers from my Grandpa as an anniversary gift. My clients gave me a $25 tip (5×5) and told me to buy Grandma some flowers. This very act sent chills down my spine. I now had cash, a plan, and my kids with me to complete our mission. To say I felt gratitude is an understatement, because quite frankly who wants to find parking twice downtown with children and locate a bank? Not this Mama! On my way to the market, I saw 3 really big 5s and smiled. It felt like my grandpa was sending me signals along my path. I feel like if I could have heard him, he would have been saying, “Yes! Yes! You are doing it!” After a laborious adventure in parking, my kids chose the flowers and we headed to Edmonds. Along the way, we spotted 3 more 5 signs! I wasn’t able to capture the giant 55 and older sign on aurora because there was no way of stopping safely on that stretch of road, so you are going to have to use your imagination on that one.

At the front door to my Grandmas condo, my daughter Lilly with her sweet blond curls bouncing atop her head handed Grandma the bouquet and told her “Grandpa Norm wanted us to give you flowers and tell you that he still loves you.” Grandma and I locked eyes as our tears began to fill. Being a part of their love story if only for a minute, and seeing my Grandmother so happy will be one of the best moments in my lifetime.

(end of Hi 5 sample)

I believe my Grandpa will continue to find ways to remind Grandma that he loves her even though he can’t be with her anymore. Their love is an inspiration to me and I consider myself a very lucky messenger. Hug someone today and tell them you love them, oh and Happy Valentines Day, or as I call it Beverly and Norman’s anniversary.

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Sandee - February 14, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Your mom linked to this and I followed. What a great love story. Thanks for sharing it today.

Oh my gosh…. the verification tool at the bottom of the message has a 5!

Ashley DeLatour - February 19, 2014 - 9:22 am

That’s awesome!! I love that it had a 5! : )

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