Supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Excuse me while I bombard my loving readers with a bit o’ shameless soliciting… for a good cause of course.

It seems everyone has a cause they can stand behind; something that has touched very near to their hearts.
Mine is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

As some of you may or may not know, I lost my mother to suicide when I was barely ten years old. For the fifth year now, my sister and I will be taking part in the annual “Out of the Darkness” walk that benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This years walk is scheduled to take place on September 21st at the Walkway Over the Hudson in Highland, NY.

Our luminary at the 2009 Out of the Darkness Walk.

I think a big part of why I have always been so obsessed with picture taking is partially due to the lack of photos that I have of my own mother. She died when I was still relatively young, and before the era of digital photography. My mother, like many, was our family’s personal photojournalist… taking photos of daily life, holidays, and special occasions… but like many moms (including myself, I admit) she was always the one behind the camera, taking the photos… and rarely was the one in front of the camera. Since I was so young, over time, I have forgotten what the sound of her voice was like. There are no family videos to remind me. All I had left were my memories and the (few) photos.

To add insult to injury, when I was fourteen years old, I arranged the photos that I did have of my mother, in a photo album that included pictures from my summer vacation. I excitedly brought the photo album to school to show my friends, but when I left the photo album on the window sill of the locker room while I was in gym class… the photo album went missing. It was nowhere to be found. Someone had taken it, for what purpose I’ll never understand. Luckily, over time I have been able to build up a compilation of photos of my mother once again, thanks to friends and family who have been able to scan copies for me.

Since my teenage years, I have often doted around a camera, taking pictures of everything and seemingly nothing… just to remember. In todays day and age (and just using that phrase makes me feel older than I am) with instant digital photography, taking an overabundance of photos of randomness may not seem that unusual anymore. But “back in the day” … it was. And when my friends would ask me, “why are you taking pictures again?” I would reply… “It’s just what I do.”

If you would like to help me with a small (even the smallest is much appreciated!) donation, please visit the link below to be taken to my fundraising page on the AFSP website.

My mother and I at a Mother-Daughter dinner hosted by my Girl Scouts troop. Taken sometime in 1991.