First Since Without

I forgot about these pictures. We had them taken in April 2009 by the inimitable Deb Schwedhelm. Our first since Max died. I hate to admit it, but I'm not much for taking "family" photos these days. We take tons of photos of the kids and all but it's weird taking them without Max. Sorta like a slap in the face reminding you of what's missing versus what's there. I know, it's all in my mind and a simple shift of attitude changes it from "what's missing" to "what's here" but sometimes attitude doesn't win out over the plain old truth that Max is no longer with us.

However, Nicky saved the day for us. Out of the blue, he started singing Ring of Fire. He actually did a pretty good job. Hasn't done it since. Never did it before this day. That's why he's standing in the picture above.


Donna Ludwinski said...

Oh Andy and Melis--how weird is that. Right before I went to your site to read about the pain of family photos sans Max....I just read an email announcing time for family photos for our homeschool yearbook....and felt this icky gut feeling too...made me feel so sad too.

I love that Nicky sang Max's song! He and Max and Hannah are so beautiful. Really I am sure they are the most beautiful children I have ever seen. Thanks for the glorious photos. But I hate it that Max is not there in the middle.

Love you guys

Melis said...

I know exactly what my husband is talking about! When I took the kids (Hannah & Nic) up to Santa Cruz this Easter, I took some pics of them via my phone to send to daddy right away. I liked one, so I also made it my wallpaper on the phone. It's only of Hannah & Nic and every time I see it I feel weird inside.

These pics that Andy posted here are also over a year old. They were/are spectacular, but hard to comprehend in my heart.

Don't get us wrong, we're not moping around the house all day long, mourning and grieving; crying over Max. We've really focused on living every day and making ourselves and our kids aware of taking advantage of what we've got while we've got it. A lot of positive has come from this loss.

But we'll never not miss Max, and we'll never not think of him every day, every hour - because that's what you do with all your children... living on earth or in heaven.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful.....and I too know the feeling....the pain of moving forward....but the joy the we get to experience also...because we had them....even for a little while....

love to you all...

rhonda dudley

Leigh William said...

Melis and Andy,

To both of you, your words are truly beautiful and such an amazing reminder to me of how precious life really is. You continue to remind me each and every day to love my children as if today were the last, to hug them, to laugh with them - and most of all, not to caught up in the tedious stuff that is so easy to do as a parent.

Thank you for continuing to share your journey. I am so grateful, not only to have known Max, but to know you.

Rebecca H. said...

It is hard not to think that your Max was there with Nicky and Hannah. The fact that Nicky was singing Ring of Fire at that moment and only at that moment makes me HAVE to belive that Max was there. We just could not see him in the photos. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for continuing to share the message of living life to the Max-no matter what!

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