Though I finally had a moment to pause and catch my breath after we buried mom yesterday, my days would still be filled with much of mom's affairs to take care of before my routine could return to normal - and the house, oh how many things fell into disrepair during mom's illness. My Uncle helped me take care of several of the home repairs while he and my brother stayed at my place for mom's funeral, but so much more needed immediate attention, and my friend and neighbor Gill promised to help me with them, but for now - at this moment, I put all those thoughts on hold and just looked out at the sea spread out before me as the ferry made it's way across the bay at dusk. I had just come back from the funeral home uptown with mom's death certificates, so I could fill out the different paper works that needed to be attended to now that she was gone.
As my uncle prepared to get on the bus that would take him away from Staten Island on his journey back to Michigan, he said to me that I was going to have a whole new life from now on. I knew exactly what he meant, as for the last 10 or 15 years, no small amount of days after getting out of work, found me scouring around Manhattan looking to pick up something for mom she was in short supply of. Or buying her a surprise snack or meal to break up the monotony of nursing home food, or running home to make her a meal from scratch and bringing it to her for dinner. Now being able to go straight home and not visit or call her to check up and see that she was alright, would give me back time I forgot I ever had. But now that mom had joined dad in eternal slumber, and Uncle had left yesterday evening and my brother this morning for his flight back to Southern California, instead of looking forward to that whole new life, all I saw was a life with a giant hole in it. Thoughts like those had gone threw my head all day and now here again as I stopped snapping pictures for a short while and reflected. As I looked out at the slowly darkening sky, despite the emptiness growing inside me, I gazed at the setting sun and admired it's stunning beauty, as if it was a reminder from Heaven that our little planet would never be forgotten by the King of kings.
In that moment I felt mom and dad living on inside of me in everything they taught Clifford and I while they were alive, and everything we did for the rest of our lives would be how they would leave their mark on this earth long after they were gone. Now as I saw Ellis Island coming up in perfect position for framing I also remembered that I was a photographer, and that my camera was still in my hands by my side, with an evening sky as beautiful as one could hope for. And so months later when things were finally getting back to semi normalcy, I got around to editing some of the shots I captured since mom passed away and came upon the ones I shot on this day. I chose to edit this scene in particular as a way to honor mom and dad and remind me of how incredibly proud Harold and Sarah Burton forever were of the photographer their number two son turned out to be.
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