cm monthly challenge: new beginnings

This year I have decided to join a talented group of ladies for the Clickin Moms monthly photo challenge. Each month we will have a different theme that may be reflected through a single image or multiple images. Each photographer will post their images on their blog & link up to the photographer after them. It will be well worth it to look through all the photographers' work & see how differently we interpret the same theme. After visiting my page, please visit Photography by Danie's post. January's topic is New Beginnings, which is of course fitting as we start off a new year. This year, we certainly had our share of new beginnings in our house. On Christmas Eve, my Grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Three days later, my dad flew down to Seattle to be with her & the rest of his family. Two days after that, my sister & I arrived in the afternoon, my mom in the evening. We hoped we'd have enough time to say goodbye. Thankfully we did. While there, we counted down to 2012 as we drove down the highway. We missed my niece's 2nd birthday. Rylee turned 5 before I could get a ticket home. It was definitely a different & unexpected start to a new year, but we are so fortunate to have had that time with her. She passed away on January 11th, after spending almost two weeks in an amazing Hospice Center. She was comfortable, peaceful & surrounded by her family throughout her last days. Grandma lived an incredibly full 89-years of life. While we spent her last days with her, I took some photos. I was torn about posting them because they make me cry, but they truly define new beginnings for me right now as we all embark on life without our Grandma, Mom & Wife.

Grandma always sent all of her family (there's a lot!) Birthday cards- she didn't forget. She even sent the great-grandkids cards at all the holidays. While lying in her hospital bed, she wanted cards to sign for one of her son's, granddaughter, great-granddaughter & great-grandson.

we suggested a pedicure & she gladly accepted

lots of time was spent at her bedside, holding her hand

a couple years ago, she had asked one of my uncle's to write a song for her service...these are the lyrics

when I was in Seattle, Rylee turned 5...we had a big party for him when I came back