StART Healing - A Project In Memory of Di

I have been contemplating a photography piece to donate to StART Healing to benefit cancer programs in memory of Di.  This has been on my mind for several months now and I wanted to find a way that I could make a difference; an impact and give a gift to those that need support in the form of donations.  As an artist, I take great pride in my photography and there are several photos that I have in my collection that I would love for others to enjoy also.  I just have to find the right "one".  The one that personifies what Di meant to me, what she brought to the table and what her life meant to her.  Di loved flowers, her garden was her pride and joy.  Di also loved many types of art in many forms so I'm just not sure where to find a 'jumping off point' to delve into this project.  I know that I will find that perfect flower or outdoor setting that would personify Di and the great soul that she was very soon and I hope to find inspiration for this project in the very near future. Time is of the essence for this project; I have a deadline to meet. 

Rilke -- A Life Lived

Many years ago, after Di was diagnosed with breast cancer, we cried together many times and one time I found a card by Rilke at The Afternoon (one of Di's most fav's of stores), and I had to get it for her.  It said everything that I couldn't say without crying and making Di cry along with me.  Live everything was the theme and this is exactly what Di did everyday.....she lived everything and lived in the now and not the what if's.  She did not live along some distant day into the answer though, but I have hopes and dreams and wants and I will keep the ideas alive that there will be a cure for this ugly green cancer monster so that others can live along some distant day into the answer....


Alicia's Story Ends

It's funny how we make friends and find friends and those people that we think of as friends in the "digital age".  We form bonds, relationships and friendships with people that we otherwise would have never known through all of the opportunities we have today.  We read about their stories, their lives, their struggles and their thoughts and wishes.  We send messages through cyberspace to those that we have met who help to make up the important parts of our lives. 

Alicia Parlette was the kind of person that took on the world, grasped every available opportunity available and forged forward on her fight of the ugly green cancer  monster.  She sustained those people close to her.

She lost her battle after years of fighting. 
I am sad. The world is sad. 

Godspeed, Alicia.


Nominations Are In ...

I knew that it wouldn't take long before Di was honored for her work over the years with Holy Name. 
She was fabulous, charming, easy to talk to, vibrant, beautiful and loving to all that she came in contact with whether it was in person, on the phone or in emails.  You could just "feel" her concern and need to listen and to of course talk to you anytime that you contacted her.  Being in the development arena at Holy Name gave her "extra" info on people and happenings, she was the go-to-girl for so many things at work.  She told me several times that working at Holy Name did not feel like a "job" to her.  It actually felt like she was with family when she was there. 
She and I talked about her job often and she always talked about the nominations of people for the Hall of Fame, it really tickled her when she had a hand in helping to choose the nominated people.  So many were friends to Di and she seemed poised ready to help anyone out, any time they needed her. 

Holy Name was a perfect fiit for Di; it was meant to be when she graduated from UNO.
Being the party planner, the organizer and the go-to-girl for just about anything, the job fit Di perfectly.  

She needed to be at Holy Name and quite frankly, they needed her too.  Di could talk to someone and remember their name alll the time and know exactly who they were.  She had a knack for this that many people just don't possess. 
As a cheerleader for Holy Name, Di was involved in so many actitivies, benefits and fund raising endeavors and was highly successful in her accomplishments. 

Hats off to you, Di. 

You were one in a million and can never be replaced or imitated. 

Love YOU!


Record Store Day - Calling All Vinyl Lovers

I thought it was only fitting to call mention to a day that is very important in Di's household.  Record Day.  Music is one of the greatest forms of peace and expression.  When I first met Di so many years ago I was amazed at the large amount of vinyl albums that Jerome owned.  They took up a large part of their 2 car garage and they were all stored and categorized and nested intricately in rows with great care.  When I first saw Jerome's collection, I asked Di, "Is this the Brich Record Store?"  She laughed at me and said no, it's the "music room," Cath. 



Keeping the Faith
Can I keep the faith burning bright in my life?
People talk of faith in many senses of the word.

Emotion is evident of a strong belief in faith. Whether faith is rational, religious, committed or informal we all treat faith and the faith that we believe in with strong gut-charged emotions.

I find that faith is what sustains my being and it’s what cements me to this earth. You can find faith in many places and you can utilize it for many reasons. The attitude of faith is realizing that through the power of faith we can absolve, resolve, correlate, connect, disconnect, confirm, reaffirm and find reasons why our distinctions and characterizations about people, places, things and God occur.

Using all the ingredients that I have for faith and combining them into a culmination of a shared focus to come to a better understanding of me and my faith has taken me on many journeys and given me various perspectives into the who I was, who I am and who I am becoming. It’s a difficult journey that brings me to tears more often than it probably should. I am still on my journey.
Words on the paper are not the same as words on the computer screen. My tears can fall on the paper, sink in and become an amoeba of sorts that leaves my own imprint in the paper for generations to come. You don’t have this option with computer screens and keyboards. It’s similar to holding a photo in your hand vs having a digital file on your computer or reading jargon and news on the computer, you’re not there to witness it; the internet just says it’s happened and you don’t have the luxury of holding it in your hand. It’s not concrete and pliable and palpable, it’s just out there in space floating around above our heads through satellite transmissions or on a little tiny disk or bytes of pixels within the dark spaces of our hidden computer files, flash drives and backup drives.

In the book, “The Power of Now” the author tells you that everyday you should find a ‘shaft of sunlight’ and embrace it and sit in it. I think I need to find my own space of sun and park it most days when I’m feeling blue or alone or without a reason to move forward.

The implication of faith is to trust that the outcome of a situation is going to be positively affirmative and we can then rest on our laurels and enjoy and live and trust and have faith that everything will work out.

During all of the years and times and struggles and procedures and medications and pokes and prods and chemo and radiation and emergency room and hospital stays I held steadfast to the faith within the heart of Di that things would work out. I held on tight and kept myself from ever breaking down and getting down on my faith that everything would resolve itself and there would be a miracle. That my girl would be cured and the pain that her body had been put through for years would end and be felt as being worthwhile for having to endure the agony of it all and win the fight. I’ve felt my faith falter recently since we lost her. I wonder if faith is what kept me going and is now what is keeping me from going. Going on and feeling happy again.

In my life I always felt the need to make a difference. Whether it’s with my photography, my words or my legacy that I leave, I still want to make a difference in someone’s life or someone’s future. I felt with Di that she was doing that every day in every way with every smile and every laugh that came from that place deep inside where it really matters, from her heart.

My faith is being challenged and I am being challenged to do more, be more and make more of what I call my life. It’s hard to become the person that you want to be when you only have the means to be the person you are and you don’t feel like you can move on and forward. I’m just not ready yet. I wonder when I will be ready. If I ever will.

Ever since the weather turned warmer, birds were singing outside my window and the grass was growing greener I have felt a huge pit of loss in my soul and at the same time a pulling of my senses to go out and explore and turn some earth. I knew that when I opted to trod outside I would be hit with not only the mounds of work I need to do to reclaim my backyard and my garden but the feelings of loss all over again for Di. She was my earth-turner.

I finally spent some time in my garden yesterday, the weather was beautiful and I needed to touch the earth, be one with the earth and its immeasurable force. I didn’t get anything accomplished, I have an infestation of baby bunnies taking over my landscaping and even eating the bark off my trees. Di would know what to tell me to do; she would have answers for me and solutions to my problems. My earth turner, my go-to-girl for answers and chats.

She always did.



FolkHouse Circa 2006

Many concerts ago, we attended a Folk House Concert at Di & Jerome's and it was lovely.  The music was wonderful, the feeling of intimacy and togetherness and the entire experience was uplifting.  This was back in 2006, and I'm sorry to say that we hadn't attended one since then.  Time is a funny thing and priorities and money get mumbled together and you run out of hours in the day.  I only wish that I had attended more concerts because the feelings I took away from it that night still linger in my soul.  I did have the opportunity to take photos that night and caught Di with the performers and was able to shoot a few of them.  Di just loved all of the performers and she made it a necessary need to do everything she could to make them feel comfortable and welcomed into their house. 

Di introduced the performers and the mic was too high for her, but she didn't let that stop her from welcoming everyone into her home that night. 

A quick shot in Di's kitchen.....

The one photo that I took that night personifies Di in her element, red hair and smiling; just like she was the day that I met her so very long ago.  
Di made everything she did seem so easy and her casual "hi there" and hugs did make it easy, easy for all of us all the time. 

My forever girl, Di

The people we meet form the foundation of our lives that when built upon allow us to bloom and blossom in ways that we never would have anticipated.