A family memory, an energy, a lucky number, an odd number, for some, a number not desired but for us, our family, it means treasure for it was his number, Dad’s number, Pop Pop’s number and one he never feared in fact, it was a number he revered. They say that when people die they send us signs to let us know that they remain close by in our everyday, in our spirits, in our lives. As time passed after he went away, It seemed as though more and more that sailing regattas had ended in a 13th place or a sail number that added up to the number thirteen or perhaps the bar tab that we picked up often tallied up to a number like $113.13! For whatever reason this makes sense for he always seemed to be present for all those events, always first in line for a great time, close at hand with his family to feel the joy, the humor, the humankind. So on this most appropriate day this fall, we waited in a long and boisterous line to enter the restaurant hall of the Famous McGuire’s Irish Pub. “Please be seated”, the hostess would tell the three of us who had gathered here to eat, his son, his daughter in law and grandson, Navy Pilot on training here to be. She informed us it would be at least an hour before we would be taking a seat. We grabbed a beer and waited for our call, standing outdoors, we learned about this iconic place. There had been many famous people here before us, John McCain, George H. W. Bush, the Blue Angels, just to name a few and oh, signing a dollar bill among the one million hanging from the walls and rafters seemed to be tradition to this historic place where seasoned steaks were grilling and the smell of corn beef and cabbage was waffling through the air. “Your table is ready”, we then heard as the call came through for us to be fed, it was finally our turn to be seated among the many people there. Our hostess led us to our table just shy of 6:13, inviting us to enjoy dinner here as a guest at table number thirteen can you believe?!! As we sat there just us three, there was laughter all around and a warmth that filled the room, we paused in sure assume, that a guest had surely arrived to be seated at our table for the night. Yes, it was Pop-pop, he was there, seated straight in full observance to our right. ♥️ #lucky13 #mcguiresirishpub #keepinghismemoryalive
You could hear the sound of the saxophone bellowing from the windows down the street. The music filled the crisp cool air. People started to fill the hall of the small warm venue to hear the local legend play on his trumpet … the sound of Jazz and Blues told his story and those of so many from his hometown. Exuberance filled the room as the rhythm began to pound in your chest. The smell of whiskey and smoky cajun savor penetrated every corner of the space. The crowd gathered, young and old, generations from then and now, faces and traces, smiles and laughter, arms outstretched to the sound of the music and to show affection for their neighbor. There was so much kindness penetrating through strangers and friends. There is pain here, it is palpable.
Daytime brings a different vibe. Stories are shared of the roots that brought them there and what shaped their lives here now. The river flows but not as it did in years gone by, much has changed. Sitting in an old coffee shop, warm with the sound of laughter and the smell of the freshly baked beignets and steamed cafe au lait, I sat with an elder who shared with me that much if not all of the original language, Cajun and Creole French, had slowly vanquished over time. The tapestry was changing with some of the more current needs. Her hope was that local authentic recipes would remain passed down if families would remain in the area. Artists, musicians, dreamers, workers, novelists, marketers, business owners, jewelry makers, the people here are intuitive and kind. There is inspiring talent here, often untapped, unfounded and unheard. The color of people here is striking, a cross section of identities that brings richness and depth to the region. You wake in the morning to a sound and aroma and vibrance so unique to New Orleans.
Yes, there is pain here … it is palpable. But here there is history and talent and color and resilience. But mostly, there is LOVE here. #Neworleans, #musicandart #artheals #nostalgia
I am a clinician (Nurse Practitioner), a daily meditator, a novice photographer and have a joy for traveling, writing and interacting with others. I am also a survivor as so many humans are on this journey called life. My story of survival was truly a blessing in disguise but a story of survival none less. I would not recognize this echo in myself until years later. It was 1989 when my oldest son was born, eight weeks too soon. Rushed to the local hospital with relentless abdominal pain and hypertension, I would soon be diagnosed with HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low Platelets) Syndrome, an obstetrical emergency requiring immediate delivery. Under the care of a close friend, I was transferred to a high risk center where most of what I remember were sights, smells, sounds and words, yes the words uttered to my loved ones, “She may not make it but we will save the infant”, and the report of the numbers, the daunting lab results that I understood so well being a nurse. What they didn’t know was that I could still hear them through the fog and the haze. All was a blur but I eventually went home and so did my little one, 3 lbs, 11 oz and strong. He was my world, my focus, my will …
All of this would be repeated once again, 1997, eight years later when my youngest son was born, eight weeks too soon, 3 lbs, 1 oz and perfect. The trauma all began once again and under the most difficult of conditions, I would survive once more. It would take years for my soul to recognize these critical days for at those moments, my energy was spent caring for my sweet little boys. The research currently being done shows that HELLP Syndrome survivors often have unmanaged post traumatic stress in various degrees. It is my hope through theses images, through these writings, through these human interactions and travels and day to day “beings”, that we can all come closer to acknowledging our daily moments, our pains, joys, our vulnerabilities and strength, our connections, our humanity …. Our journey to healing.