#leapfear Day 14 – Marg

I looked through my camera and I was surprised that I saw total trust. I didn’t expect that. I have known Marg for over 3 decades and this was unexpected. I asked, and she said when she saw that photo I took of her husband, she knew she could trust me. He was not the most photogenic man and I was lucky enough to capture an image that is quintessential Bernt. It hangs in my studio to remind me why photos matter.

Marg was one of my Mom’s closest and dearest friends. I think they were more like sisters. When we lost my uncle, my grandfather and my father in a matter of weeks, Marg and Bernt took my Mom and me into their home and gave us the love and space to begin our healing. Words are inadequate to explain what Marg has meant in our lives over the years.

Her entire life has been in service of people. She and Bernt brought 3 children each to a new marriage and added a seventh. She was a nurse, an owner of a Bed and Breakfast, a passionate and loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.

She lost the love of her life a few months after she lost her friend. Bernt had lived decades longer than doctors had ever expected but that does not make the loss any less painful.

After our photo session, she pulled me aside and started telling me the things she did and did not want included in her story for this blog. I told her it was supposed to be in her own words but she reminded me of the time I had ghost written my mom’s contribution to Bernt’s 80th birthday book. I refuse to do that here. She had written a few notes on paper so that is what I have included below.

But let me make my own comments on her story. Marg has had challenges that she has faced, but she always faced them with courage, kindness and love. And that is what I love most about Marg. She speaks below about her faith but it is not a loud or arrogant faith. It is quiet, steadfast and like a rudder in her life. Below the surface so that no one else can see it but powerful in helping her find the right direction in which to go. As a wife, mother and friend, there is no one that can come close to Marg. My mother loved her so very dearly, as do I. There is no one else I could imagine profiling on my mother, Valentina’s, very own day, Valentine’s Day.

My favourite images of the session are the ones of Marg wearing her grey scarf. It is one that my mother gave to her years ago. Of course it flatters her perfectly (my mom had exceptional taste) and helped us both feel my Mom with us during the shoot.
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What changed that made you realize that you were living a life of fear?

Many years ago following a difficult period in my life, I was forced to face my fears. Following a long struggle, with a lot of support, I was able to find the courage and grace to face my fear.

Once that realized that you were living a life in fear, what stopped you from moving forward? What held you back so long?

It was insidious at first. I didn’t even recognize it. Once I did, I had to work at acceptance. I had always been “in control” and “in charge”. I had to recognize I was powerless and needed something greater than myself to help.

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Once you did take the leap, what did you have to let go of?

Denial held me back. When I identified it and accepted it, I was able to find a faith. This gave me the courage and grace to walk through it.

Fear held me back from a serene and useful life.

My fear created a sickness in my soul. I had to find faith and choose to believe that once again I could find peace and serenity.

Once you let go what did you find on the other side that was worth taking the leap?

I found in letting go it was the starting point for better things. Once I found a faith to help me walk through my fear things changed. As my faith grew, so did my inner security and fear began to subside.

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What would you tell someone whose fears are holding them back?

When I faced my fear, a new kind of confidence began to grow. However, this is a lifetime undertaking.

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