It has been said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and yet I have always taken dozens of pictures to tell just one story. A birthday perhaps. A trip to the beach. Not to mention, Christmas. Christmas is in a photographic league of its own.
But these days, photographers edit their pictorial words even before they snap the shot; composing from contorted angles to capture only part of a subject or half a smile. The art has become much more concise. Fewer and fewer pixels are needed. Even so, I find the old adage still true.
Sometimes I take the stairs, but not today. I mean, it wasn’t like I didn’t need to take them. I had been sitting for hours; sitting and waiting. And with random people handing out free dessert, I needed the stairs today more than ever. Yes, there were times I stood, only to sit right back down again. I was greeting friends, old and new. Standing is almost exercise. And what about anticipation? Anticipation does excite the heart. Yes, we waited with much anticipation this morning; anticipation and joy. Joy was the other sweet treat distributed freely among us.
“Is she coming? Is it time?” “Almost. It’s taking a little longer than we expected,” he said. “It’s worth the wait,” I thought. “I wouldn’t miss this for anything!” I clutched my gift bag and smiled at the contents. Laughter and stories were shared; and then finally it was time.
“Are your cameras ready? Someone needs to get a video of this moment!” Someone? How about all of us?! With iCameras in hand, we silently huddled together straining for a glimpse of her. First came the husband in white and then her caregivers in blue. Then we saw her! “Yay!” we yelled. She almost didn’t see us. Her eyes were focused on one thing. She had been waiting for this moment. None of us will ever know how much. A few instructions were given and then she grabbed the rope; and moving it swiftly from side to side, she rang the bell! Yes. We heard it. We were standing there with her. But oh how it must have reverberated inside her. There were tears, of course. Tears of joy. Streams of victory and breaths of sweet release. Then one by one she hugged us all. She showed us her certificate of completion and her memorial bell. It didn’t ring very loudly- something she was determined to correct later. Then with one last look at her surroundings, in solidarity we walked toward the shiny, silver doors. All of us. And placing her in the center next to her little loves, we closed the doors, literally and figuratively; and ate cookies in the elevator.