we spent the past few days in northern michigan. bidding a final farewell to my beloved grandparents. a bitter sweet time was had by all. it was a joy to be with family members, share stories and spend time celebrating life. the trip to ‘the lake’ was a bit more difficult than I had imagined, as it is a place that i hold close to my heart. the reality that we will not be able to spend the time there that we once had, and my children will not experience the joy there that i did, was a hard one to come to terms with. the distinct scents, the clear green water, the pockets of forest unexplored, will be longed for. through the viewfinder of my camera i captured my children doing the very same things i grew up doing. hunting for petosky stones, riding the paddle board and discovering all sorts of wildlife. it was a surreal and joyful experience. i didn’t want it to end. but something was missing. an empty place in our hearts translated to that physical place and I felt it. the bold, full spirit of my grandpa and the gentle, sweet soul of my grandma were not there. i pray that they are together for eternity sharing the love that we knew them to share on this earth, tenfold.