On a message board I post on for young widowed and essentially widowed people like myself, one of the recurring subjects is grief is triggered by the most unlikely things.
James had an interest in photography. In 2006, he bought himself a nice digital SLR camera on my birthday. Funny, I can remember that and that dinner was cancelled because our best friends' dog fell in the river (he was rescued and my friend got her picture on the front page of the paper with the dog and some very cute firemen), but I can't remember what James got me that year. I'm sure I liked it though.
Naturally, I inherited the camera which I have always been a little afraid of. I had used it a few times here and there but was afraid of breaking it, but James always assured me it was just a camera and if I broke it, he would replace it. I think he may have secretly been hoping I would break it so he could get the new improved model. After looking at it for several months, I decided that I would take up photography to honor James.
I joined a group through meetup.com for women learning photography. At the first meeting I went to, I learned I was in over my head. So, I decided to take a class and signed up for one through the community education program hosted by one of the local school districts.
My first (of 6) classes was last night. It went well. He covered a lot of material and I pretty much understood most of it. I will definitely have to review my notes before next week though! And my friend is going to have to find something new to tease me about because I now know what "aperture" and "ISO" are all about. That shouldn't be too hard-Lord knows I give him enough material just by being myself.
I was feeling pretty good about the first class. And then we were assigned homework: put the camera on the auto setting and take a picture. Then, fiugre out how to adjust the ISO (or ASA, depending on the camera) setting and take the same picture using different ISO settings. Okay, piece of cake. And then he said to experiment using the program settings for portrait and sports/kids at play. And then the little voice taunted me: "You live alone. Who're you gonna take pictures of?" I almost started to cry. The little old couple to my left have each other and grandchildren. The little old man to the right of me has his wife and grandchildren. The three ladies across from me have their spouses and their children. Who do I have? I felt like I had been punched in the gut.
I am going to a BBQ on Saturday and am thinking about asking if they would be my subjects. I have only met them a couple of times though-he was a co-worker of James I met for the first time at the funeral. If I chicken out, I can throw the ball in the backyard and get some shots of Charlie. (Someday some poor person is going to get stuck with 50 bazillion pictures of my dogs). My boss will pose for the portrait shot. He already volunteered, as I figured he would. So, I am lucky-I do have options. I just wish I had my own family to come home to and take pictures of.