Sunday, March 6, 2011

never let me go.

even if only in the wee hours of the night when only jack johnson could truly comprehend my desire to change the world, to make a difference, to be *heard*, with one captured image, one spoken word. an inspiration that spreads like wildfire across my soul.

I miss sharing the amazing and beautiful people I am blessed to meet. their stories. their hearts. their laughter.them. unedited. pure. perfect.
I miss my thoughts on a whirlwind flow underneath constellations in the darkness of the night when only you were there to contain them. understand them. help me make some sort of sense of them. with images that would surround them.
I miss the encouraging and kind comments others bestowed upon us, even if they were few and far in between...they were enough. they were inspiring. they were ours.

but what I miss the most is this.

the little forgotten moments in between the great big universe that sometimes makes us forget how beautiful and perfect life is. and the kindness of others that makes our souls sing.

the moments when your heart is peaceful and all you can hear is your breath against the backdrop of the earth and you remember, life is a miracle. and you are so thankful for it.

so all of this and more, I want to find my way back to once again. a place for all things left unsaid. and a place to smile and be kind to one another. cause it exists. and it is in the hearts of *all* of us. we just have to be willing and ready to find it.

and what better way to seek out such an incredible journey of passion and hope than sharing the kindness of others. therefore with much adieu (because it only took me ages to announce the winners because I just needed to let their words soak into me like a sunny day warming me to the bone).....

so there is a top three of day 25 mega pay it forward giveaway nominations of *thee* kindest person you know.

the person who does so much in this world with the expectation of nothing in return. generosity at it's finest. there were so.very.many fabulous nominations. so but of course just one winner would not be enough and, therefore, the top they be. (with permission from all entrants to share their beautiful words)

the runners up:

"I would also like to nominate my mom, Robin for the day 25 giveaway. She is truly the greatest. She raised 4 kids on her own and we have grown to see how much she does for everyone else, and expects nothing. One of her children died right before her eyes, yet she still works in a hospital with children who are on the verge of death. I can see somedays it gets to her, and she remembers her own son. She also battled breast cancer and had to get a mastectomy, but she had a smile through it all. It was never about her, it was about us kids and giving us everything she could. She gives meals to everyone who is sick when she barely has the money to make them. She deserves everything, but she is always in the shadows. I want her to see that everyone really does appreciate and love the wonderful person she is. :)"

- nominated by sam

runner up deux:

"I would like to nominate my amazing mom for this. In your "qualifications" for the nominee you wanted someone who had amazing acts of kindness every day, made a huge difference in the lives of people, rarely recognized for it, and expects nothing in return for it. I knew immediately my mom was the one for me to nominate.

Amazing acts of kindness every day: For as long as I can remember my mom has been the definition of a mom. She was a stay at home mom that has devoted her whole life to my brother and I. Any mom can do that right? Well when my brother was 2 years old he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. It was life changing for my mom, but she woke up the next day and continued her unselfish ways of caring for my brother and I. I became pregnant at 16. Of course that was another life changing event in our lives which could have easily made my mom give up. But instead my mom volunteered to help me every step of the way of my teenage pregnancy and further. She quit her job, social life, and regular sleep schedule to help me raise a baby at 16. And it didn't stop there. She still is helping me 5 years later.

Huge difference in peoples lives: My mom hasn't helped hundreds of people directly, not even close. But she has effected my family in ways that many people combined couldn't. But because my mom has helped me beat the odds of being a teenage mom and helping me graduate from college as a nurse I feel she is helping every single of my patients. Because my mom has helped my brother have a normal life well facing the every day struggles of CP she has given hope to other families out there dealing with the same thing.

Recognition: I simply thank my mom all the time, but sometimes I feel like that just isn't enough. No way would I even be able to describe half of the reasons why my mom deserves this. Does she deserve to win a million dollars? Yup. Does she deserve a spankin' new sports car? You bet ya! A one hour massage? Of course. But what my mom deserves is to see that I appreciate her and wouldn't be able to let her know. And because of what she has done for me I'm able to "pay it forward" to others. "

- nominated by amanda

these amazing human beings will be gifted with a $25 mL photography gift certificate. I am so overjoyed to know that people like this *do* exist. and there are so many of you out there doing good deeds especially when you think no one is looking. but someone is always looking (And not in a creepy horror film kind of way, though it tis my favorite genre)... but rather people that you have inspired, now paying it forward because they just witnessed an act of kindness that touched their hearts. and that's what it's all about people. so pass it ON.

now, THEE grand prize winner of the mega pay it forward nominations....

"I would like nominate my mom, Vickie, for this last giveaway! My mom has been my rock throughout my life, and has always been a strong, beautiful, faithful woman!
Unfortunately, about 6 months ago, she started having weird things
happen in her body. She was experiencing dizziness, tremors, extreme
fatigue, and some numbness as well. To make a long story short, after
many doctor's visits she went to the U of M (GO BLUE!) and was diagnosed
with transverse myletitis which is a neurological disease that causes
inflammation around her C-spine. Since April, she has been dealing with
this and has not seen any improvement yet. She ended up loosing her
full-time job in HR at Trendway as a result. As a daughter, it is so
hard to see your mom, your rock, the woman you always have seen as the
strongest person in the world all of your life, fall apart. She tries
hard to stay strong and faithful through all of this, but there are many
times she has broken down into tears. My mom is the most giving woman in
the world and would never ask a soul for anything. Her and my dad give
to me and my family all the time without wanting a thing in return. They
have blessed so many people's lives and it's hard to understand why my
mom has to go through something like this. But, like she says, it could
be worse. I would love to bless her and my dad with this generous gift!
I would love to see a picture of her showing strength that I know she
still has somewhere deep down inside of her."

- nominated by heidi

winner of a complimentary family session with mL photography, including a cd of all images from our shoot together AND a certificate for 50% off your print order, too.

this last nomination just really got under my skin. the really good kind. that infects you and you cannot stop thinking about how you, too, could possibly change the world with your own two hands. because you can. and you already are. and it is people like all of YOU that inspire me to be a better person.

thank you so much for the inspiration you all have given me throughout the mega pay it forward giveaway and from the beginning. and also? for the start me up (rolling stones style) that I needed to get this blog revival going. your words made it happen. and in your images? I hope to return the favor.

bring it 2012. I have never been more ready to take on this world. one laugh. one smile. one embrace. one breath. one moment at a time.