Sad Tears of Joy

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It’s not easy for me to take a self-portrait. Mostly because I am very shy, but also because my camera doesn’t have a swiveling display (better known as “flippy screen”). Not being able to see exactly what the camera is capturing presents a series of extra hardships, but I decided to give it a go this time for being a special occasion.

Those who know me probably already heard about the amazing news my family and I discovered last week. I am not the most comfortable sharing the complete story (though I did share a bit of it in my “Father” photo), so we’ll keep it short and simple. This photo is in commemoration to a new stage for my family and I.

My mother fell in a coma almost 6 months ago. I can honestly say this has been the most difficult half year of my life. You know how they tell you “you will never understand until it happens to you”? Well, I understand that feeling now – that is why I won’t try to explain it.

Despite doctors and people telling us to stop her pain, to let her go with “dignity”, we decided to give her a chance to keep fighting. The months were long… the longest, but on June 1st, 2013 we experienced something that made it all worth it. My mother has started to speak again! Few words, seldom, but she has.

Surely, you can imagine how I felt. It was a mixture of excitement, sadness, happiness and all around shock. After a few screams, tears merged with modest smiles. Because it is a unique feeling, I wanted to capture it and believe I did a fair job at it with “Sad Tears of Joy”.

This photo/success would have never been possible had we listened to the doctors about 5 months ago. We would have accepted our defeat before the war even started. Please, don’t ever let doctors tell you you should let your loved ones go. I respect doctors greatly, but they are often proven wrong and my mom is living testament of it.

I will also share a photograph I took in December, 2012, when this all started. I titled it “Where did she go?”.

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There are many things I now see that I could change to improve this image, but I won’t. The photo represents everything that happened then. Not only through symbolism, but through those small mistakes as well. If some of the mess in my life affected my ability to produce a “better” image, then I am perfectly happy with the results.

I don’t usually conform with photos I am not completely satisfied with, but due to the story and circumstances I believe a few errors can be admired. We have to learn to step back and look at things with a different eye sometimes. Shortcomings can make something more valuable… I believe this image is the perfect example of that. I love it the way it is.

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