My dear Jo,

This Summer started with a very difficult news and I had a hard time finding balance. My heart mourned, my mind was occupied with many things, and I was trying hard to digest the new fact. On the other hand, I still wanted to make the summer as enjoyable and memorable as possible for you.

Loosing someone who was more than just a parent has been very difficult for me. My heart still aches and I still grief...to this day. But my little Jo, I am also grateful for so many things that you do that make me my smile and my heart swells in happiness and with gratitude.

Although you don't get to spend as much time with your grandma as we wanted too, I am delighted to know that both of you have developed a beautiful bond during that very short time. You noticed a moving cloud and said that Oma in heaven was pushing away those clouds, making sure it didn't rain because we weren't home yet. You said that you missed her. Your dance teacher put on a slow song and you thought about her. I am thrilled and touched knowing that you carry her with you in your heart.

I am thankful to you as you allowed me to pour my heart and focus in taking care of Opa while we were in Jakarta. You played by yourself, entertained yourself allowing me the opportunity to meet Opa's daily needs. You might be small, but you have such a big heart that is full of love, kindness and understanding. (...and now I am all teary writing this up. *snif*)

I almost canceled the plan to visit Bali. I felt it wasn't appropriate due to the circumstance. But I also thought that cancelling the trip wouldn't be fair to you. I know Oma would've been sad if I cancelled the trip too. I planned this trip because I wanted to show you many things there. And because you deserved it.

I am glad we went. I enjoyed watching your radiant face, blushing cheeks from the sun, tanned skin, and your excitement in exploring new things. Seeing how happy and healthy you are is such a beautiful gift for me. I laughed at your excitement and accomplishment at Bali Tree Top Park (I watched and prayed continuously, by the way...) I was amazed at your determination in walking for 3 hours under the sun through paddy fields and a river, walking up and down the hills, and crossing a wobbly bamboo bridge. 

I'd like to say that both of us grew this summer. You learned to trust your instinct and started to feel the sense of independence. I learned to trust your judgement and the process of slowly letting you go. We spent half a day with the Pieroelie's playing at Waterbom and I learned to trust my guts that you were going to be OK sliding those high slides by yourself. And you were doing OK. You had your first sleepover and you went to places without having me tailing you around. I watched your determination in learning to swim. I observed how seamlessly you met new people and made friends with them. 

I saw a different you. I saw how fearless you could be, but also the vulnerability (you walked on a thin rope without fear, but cried for getting a cut on your foot). I saw how strong you could be, but still be sensitive. I saw how much you've grown, but there is still a part of you that remains innocent.

I am so happy that you got to experience all these. And I'd like to show you more about this world.

You are always my wonderwall.
Bun-bun.


Delight Fine Art Debbie Wibowo NY Delight Fine Art Debbie Wibowo5 Delight Fine Art Debbie Wibowo4 Delight Fine Art Debbie Wibowo3 Delight Fine Art Debbie Wibowo6 Delight Fine Art Debbie Wibowo
I am sharing this project with other uber talented mother and photographers. The next one up in this circle is Wendy Laurel of Wendy Laurel Photography. Make sure you stop by to read her letter this month and to devour on her pictures.  
Kirsty said...

Debbie, I see so much love poured into this letter and this summer - I see a bruised and broken heart, and a path to healing, but never forgetting - I see a girl wavering on the cusp of growing up, and a Mama wavering on the cusp of letting go but yet holding on oh so tight - I especially see these last things because I feel them myself too... you are so strong, stronger than you know - and there's an angel looking down to help you too.... so much love xx

Sara said...

The words and images are so powerful. I am blown away by your strength and the strength you had to have for your Jo. I know your Jo has so much love and respect for you and it is so good to help her understand your grieving as it applies to her in her life. Losing a parent cannot be easy. I am so so sorry for your painful loss and I can't imagine the powerful strength it took to create these colorful images. We are with you holding your hand. Big hugs! XOXO Sara

imlisa88 said...

I am so touched by reading your post. Your story was deep and touching, the pictures make the emotions in the story even more vivid.

Surinder Singh said...

Cool...
Fine Art Photography

GINGER UNZUETA said...

E and I just loved looking through these..she got her letter today and loved seeing J. Loved your words too!! xo

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