I generally don’t share my guy, Josh’s, story with many people. I respect his privacy, and although I used to take the liberty of posting anything-to-everything about our relationship here in my blog, I no longer do that. I feel that he has a right to his privacy and if he wanted to share some of the deepest parts of himself, he’d probably have his own blog. So, last year, I went through many of my blog posts and made the ones pertaining to him private. I do still have a few up, but I basically made private the gut-wrenching posts that I should have used more discretion with. But live and learn, eh?
That said, I decided to revisit one of my photo series called Going Home; in which I told a story about a man (Josh) who had begun his journey to return home after a long time away. In this series, he sets out with a heavy heart, longing to return home. The word home evokes such strong feelings. It represents comfort, acceptance, peace, relaxation, and ultimately, love.
I created the Going Home series 6 or 7 years ago and submitted it to a photo contest. I won a camera for it (my 4th one) and gave that to my daughter, Brianna, who ended up becoming a talented photographer herself. (But she’ll never admit to that. She’s far too modest when it comes to her many talents. She’s also a piano prodigy, immensely gifted singer, a writer and self-taught multilinguist- the list is long. The kid is amazing!) But all of my kids are. :)
I love the Going Home series because it tells the metaphorical story of each and every one of us in this world; all traveling onward to an unknown (and sometimes very much known) destination. I know Josh doesn’t mind my sharing this part of his own story, which ties into the series perfectly.
I’ve never known anybody, apart from my oldest daughter, Heidi, who’s had such an incredible life story. I’ll share a bit of his story with you- for those of you who are new to it.
Josh’s mother was murdered by her boyfriend when he was only 7. For the next 7 years, he and his sister lived with their father. Unfortunately, his father died of a heart attack when Josh was only 14. He and his sister were sent to live with their grandmother, but she wasn’t capable of taking care of them for long, so Josh and his sister went off to live in one foster home after another. The two eventually split up and lived in separate homes, slowly drifting apart. After being shipped off from one place to the next, longing to fit in and really belong somewhere, Josh finally turned 18 and was no longer a ward of the state. He was given a small apartment and after so many years of living with somebody else, he was finally able to call his new place “home”. It was shortly after that that I was introduced to Josh from my brother. My brother had brought him over one day, and we clicked immediately. He stayed with us for the next few years: we adopted him straightaway! That was 10 years ago.
I can say with ease that I was an immature girl when we met, and although there was an 18 year age gap between us, we clicked on every level and became the very best of friends. I’ll always owe Josh a debt of gratitude for stepping into the very large shoes of “father figure” to my children. He was just a kid himself, but he was a sober, brilliant-minded “bruddy” to my son (a combination of brother and buddy) who took the time out of his life to be a great example to my children. It was understood that he wasn’t replacing their father, but his contributions to my little family are innumerable. I could never repay him for all that he’s given to me and my children. I like to think he feels the same way about us. :)
Josh is still my best friend. We have an unspoken understanding that we are not “boyfriend/girlfriend” and we don’t hold hands and stroll on the beach together with stars in our eyes. We have a much stronger bond than if we were married. We know that no matter what- we have each other’s backs, and we know that we can trust one another with each other’s very lives. I don’t think one could ask for more than that in a life partner. :)
Back to the series! I wanted to visually express Josh’s journey of longing for that ever-elusive place that he could finally call home. (The last pic at the bottom of the collection isn’t part of the series, but it fit in nicely, I thought. I was looking through the window into that same abandoned house, which actually tells what happened in real life, again, metaphorically. Also, I was still cutting my Photoshop and Lightroom teeth back then and might’ve gotten a little slap happy the editing here. My apologies!)
And so began his journey: