It started as something small but has built up some steam and now there's a series of photos. My girls met some other teens and we have been having a grand time taking photos for what we call Gage's Gang. This project has me going out and doing more than I have in the past 18 months. I didn't realize how much my friend's death had affected me.
My girls were affected as well. The past year has been horrible but we've recovered. We lost about 80% of our friends for various reasons. Some because we all disagreed about things and others because they couldn't handle us in our grief. Some of these people had been friends of ours for over 10 years. It's been a hard road.
The summer started us on the path to recovery from the grief and all it's rippling effects but it wasn't until this January that the real healing started, at least for me.
At the beginning of the new school year in 2015, we met a wonderful young lady who had moved in from North Carolina (sometimes you have to love the Army). She became incredibly close to both my older two girls. Without her love and friendship, my girls wouldn't have survived as well as they did. Through her we met a fantastic group of youth. I haven't laughed as much as I have since the start of 2017.
The coming summer is going to be filled with grand ballet adventures in New York City, but in the meantime, we plan on taking this group of teens (minus the kid squatting in the ball cap) around Texas to take photos. We call this Gage's Gang.
The love these guys have for each other and me have been my healing balm.
"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love." ~ Hubert H. Humphrey