Joe

Joe died yesterday.

His real name was Jon. He was a gifted photographer. He was sensitive, intelligent, opinionated, and loyal. He had green-gold eyes and a mischievous smile. He was my best friend. We loved each other as much as two people are capable of loving. I can’t fathom a world without him in it.

Jon was very troubled and very sick, especially in the weeks before he died. Life was a battle for him. Jon endured a lot of pain, and those of us who loved him endured it too. I’m relieved that he’s not suffering anymore.

Jon in Lesotho, September 2010.

Last night I sat at a friend’s house and watched the sunset. The clouds were so beautiful. Jon always told me that he loved to photograph clouds more than any other subject.

I took some photos with my blackberry. Blackberry cameras are really terrible and these photos do not convey what I actually saw.  But here they are anyway.

I am not a religious person. But I like to think Jon was in those clouds somewhere.

I’m glad I got to take pictures of clouds on the last day of Jon’s life.

Jon shot thousands of beautiful photos. Here are a few of my favorites.

Clarens, South Africa, looking across the border into Lesotho. This photo was the wallpaper on Jon’s computer when I first met him in March 2007.

Nkoaranga Orphanage, Tanzania, March 2007. This photo was taken on the first day I ever saw Jon shoot. It was the day I fell in love with him.

Kalahari Desert, Botswana. I’m not sure when Jon shot this, but I know he was on a camping trip with his brother and it was a really happy time for him.

This was one of Jon’s favorite photos. I’m not sure when he took it.

Mkhulamini Health Clinic, Swaziland, July 2008. This is my favorite of all Jon’s photos. I am there somewhere, in that crowd on the left.

I’ll have more to say eventually but this is all for now. If you can, please give the person you love most a hug tonight.

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196 Comments

  • Reply MartinaInJozi December 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Always here for you. Whether you like it or not… xxx

  • Reply nod 'n' smile December 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    My heart hurts for you as I read this, and I’m so very sorry for your immense loss and sadness. This is a beautiful piece in his honor; his photography speaks volumes about who he is.

  • Reply Jeroen December 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I am grateful to Jon for some good memories, his gentle smile and wit, and for these and many other beautiful images.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough December 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Dear, dear Heather, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how you must feel. PLEASE let me know if thereI can do anything.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  • Reply Bing December 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Jon was a great man and was my inspiration in photography when we moved here. I will never forget the tricks he has taught me with my camera. I will miss his quirky sense of humour and his generosity with his knowledge.

    Great selection of Jon’s best work. He will live on through these beautiful shots.

    Big hugs and lots of love
    K

  • Reply Andre December 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    My heart went out to you tonight when I read about your loss and I feel your sadness deeply in my heart.I understand the power of the clouds and the sunsets, as try have a hold on me too and I often feel that I want to share them by taking a photo but came to the realization that they were sometimes for me only and not meant to share .Some of our memories and thoughts of a beloved I believe are the same

  • Reply Aruna December 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    So sorry to hear this. I don’t know either of you personally but feel I know you through your blog.
    I have some idea of what you’re going through but it doesn’t compare. Wishing you much strength in the coming time.

  • Reply Aruna December 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    So sorry to hear this. I don’t know either of you personally but feel I know you through your blog.
    I have some idea of what you’re going through but it doesn’t compare. Wishing you much strength in the coming time.

  • Reply landofnams December 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    You are eloquent still in your grief. I’m so sorry for your loss. We’re all here for you, as Martina said.

  • Reply landofnams December 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    You are eloquent still in your grief. I’m so sorry for your loss. We’re all here for you, as Martina said.

  • Reply Yashik December 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Dearest Heather,

    Your grace in this time of grief and loss is truly inspiring.

    All the best for Xmas and the New Year!

  • Reply Yashik December 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Dearest Heather,

    Your grace in this time of grief and loss is truly inspiring.

    All the best for Xmas and the New Year!

  • Reply Slowvelder December 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Dear Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this sad time. I am thankful that you got to know Jon, and that we could get to know you, and I hope that with time you will be able to remember the special moments you spent together with a smile and much love in your heart.

  • Reply Slowvelder December 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Dear Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this sad time. I am thankful that you got to know Jon, and that we could get to know you, and I hope that with time you will be able to remember the special moments you spent together with a smile and much love in your heart.

  • Reply candicepeetzphotography December 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Heather, I am so sorry to read of your loss. THere are no words. But know that you are in my thoughts. Sending some good juju your way. xx

  • Reply candicepeetzphotography December 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Heather, I am so sorry to read of your loss. THere are no words. But know that you are in my thoughts. Sending some good juju your way. xx

  • Reply Kevin Ryan December 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Heather

    My sincere condolences. You had a great teacher and learnt well from him. His skill and talent will live on in your photos. He was a retiring person who showed himself through his photos and will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with you

  • Reply Kevin Ryan December 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Heather

    My sincere condolences. You had a great teacher and learnt well from him. His skill and talent will live on in your photos. He was a retiring person who showed himself through his photos and will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with you

  • Reply thirdeyemom December 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Oh my God Heather. My eyes are tearing up right now. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I also apologize for my confusion in your situation. Based on your posts I thought that you had broken up and that he was the cause. I am so sorry for my mistake. I had no idea hat he was sick with a terminal illness. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I actually have losses my young nephew years ago and it has changed our lives ever since. He pain is always ther stark, deep and real. Yet you must go on. Life continues as hard as it may be. My heart goes out to you as well as my thoughts. I wish I could give you a hug.

  • Reply thirdeyemom December 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Oh my God Heather. My eyes are tearing up right now. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I also apologize for my confusion in your situation. Based on your posts I thought that you had broken up and that he was the cause. I am so sorry for my mistake. I had no idea hat he was sick with a terminal illness. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I actually have losses my young nephew years ago and it has changed our lives ever since. He pain is always ther stark, deep and real. Yet you must go on. Life continues as hard as it may be. My heart goes out to you as well as my thoughts. I wish I could give you a hug.

  • Reply Jerome West December 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Heather my heart goes out to you. Thinking of these beautiful photos you posted, yesterdays stunning clouds and that Jon is up there somewhere, while the song The Crossing by Johnny Clegg is playing in the background.

    Through all the days that eat away
    At every breath that I take
    Through all the nights I’ve lain alone
    In someone else’s dream, awake
    All the words in truth we have spoken
    That the wind has blown away
    It’s only you that remains with me
    Clear as the light of day

    A child of Africa and talented photographer has crossed over those dark mountains as he laid down his troubles. We won’t forget you Jon. May your spirit find rest.

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Jerome, I don’t know how to respond to your comment. I wish there was a ‘like’ button for it. Thank you.

  • Reply Jerome West December 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Heather my heart goes out to you. Thinking of these beautiful photos you posted, yesterdays stunning clouds and that Jon is up there somewhere, while the song The Crossing by Johnny Clegg is playing in the background.

    Through all the days that eat away
    At every breath that I take
    Through all the nights I’ve lain alone
    In someone else’s dream, awake
    All the words in truth we have spoken
    That the wind has blown away
    It’s only you that remains with me
    Clear as the light of day

    A child of Africa and talented photographer has crossed over those dark mountains as he laid down his troubles. We won’t forget you Jon. May your spirit find rest.

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Jerome, I don’t know how to respond to your comment. I wish there was a ‘like’ button for it. Thank you.

  • Reply Tilly Bud December 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Oh Heather I am so, so sorry.

  • Reply Tilly Bud December 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Oh Heather I am so, so sorry.

  • Reply Tenney December 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    To Jon Hrusa — a wonderful photographer, who lived his life like “a candle in the wind” — a fond farewell.

  • Reply Tenney December 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    To Jon Hrusa — a wonderful photographer, who lived his life like “a candle in the wind” — a fond farewell.

  • Reply Owls December 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Heather, I am thinking of you. XO Drury

  • Reply Owls December 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Heather, I am thinking of you. XO Drury

  • Reply Melanie December 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Heather, so so sorry for your loss…

  • Reply Melanie December 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Heather, so so sorry for your loss…

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish December 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing Jon with us.

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish December 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing Jon with us.

  • Reply claire December 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Jon was a sweet and sensitive man. And he loved you more that words can convey. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to have met him, and thank him for documenting and giving voice to so many suffering-and surviving- African families and children. Perhaps selfishly, I thank him above all for helping you to find the path toward your true self- you, a gifted writer and photographer, a passionate lover of the world, of people and of Africa. I’ll always be grateful to him for that, and it is a beautiful legacy among many that he leaves in his passing. I love you always, my friend and stand by you in spirit if not in person during this painful time.

  • Reply claire December 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Jon was a sweet and sensitive man. And he loved you more that words can convey. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to have met him, and thank him for documenting and giving voice to so many suffering-and surviving- African families and children. Perhaps selfishly, I thank him above all for helping you to find the path toward your true self- you, a gifted writer and photographer, a passionate lover of the world, of people and of Africa. I’ll always be grateful to him for that, and it is a beautiful legacy among many that he leaves in his passing. I love you always, my friend and stand by you in spirit if not in person during this painful time.

  • Reply Alan Mason December 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Heather, I did not know Jon but he really shot some good photography. I am sorry that you have had to say Au Revoir to someone special to you but his memories through his photography will keep him alive.
    Deepest Sympathies to you.
    Alan Mason

  • Reply Alan Mason December 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Heather, I did not know Jon but he really shot some good photography. I am sorry that you have had to say Au Revoir to someone special to you but his memories through his photography will keep him alive.
    Deepest Sympathies to you.
    Alan Mason

  • Reply Tonito December 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Heather, as someone you don’t know, I feel strange leaving this comment, but I was so moved when I read this post, that I felt compelled to show some sort reaction.

    I haven’t been following your blog for too long but this post brought tears to my eyes and prompted a call to my fiance to tell how much I love her.

    This is a simple but beautiful homages to Jon.

    My thoughts are you!

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      I’m glad you called your finacee after reading this post. That makes me feel really happy.

  • Reply Tonito December 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Heather, as someone you don’t know, I feel strange leaving this comment, but I was so moved when I read this post, that I felt compelled to show some sort reaction.

    I haven’t been following your blog for too long but this post brought tears to my eyes and prompted a call to my fiance to tell how much I love her.

    This is a simple but beautiful homages to Jon.

    My thoughts are you!

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      I’m glad you called your finacee after reading this post. That makes me feel really happy.

  • Reply Patricia December 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    My sweet friend, I am sooooo sorry for this big loss in your life. Jon was clearly very talented and a spectacular photographer. I never got a chance to know him well, but I’m sure he was just as special as a person. Wish I could be there with you. I send you a very BIG HUG and lots of LOVE…

    patty

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Patty. Jon had a great time on the night that we met you and Jay. He had so many good things to say about both of you. I’ll always remember it fondly.

  • Reply Patricia December 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    My sweet friend, I am sooooo sorry for this big loss in your life. Jon was clearly very talented and a spectacular photographer. I never got a chance to know him well, but I’m sure he was just as special as a person. Wish I could be there with you. I send you a very BIG HUG and lots of LOVE…

    patty

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Patty. Jon had a great time on the night that we met you and Jay. He had so many good things to say about both of you. I’ll always remember it fondly.

  • Reply thirdeyemom December 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    One more comment because I can’t get your post out of my head. The raw beauty and haunting pain are felt after reading your tragic words and viewing some of Jon’s works…your favorite pieces. Your love for him is touching and his work shall remain to encourage you, inspire you, to live in peace and continue on with your journey in life. I will give my children and husband a special hug and wish I could send one your way. Please take care of yourself and know you have caring friends and fellow bloggers out there thinking of you.

  • Reply thirdeyemom December 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    One more comment because I can’t get your post out of my head. The raw beauty and haunting pain are felt after reading your tragic words and viewing some of Jon’s works…your favorite pieces. Your love for him is touching and his work shall remain to encourage you, inspire you, to live in peace and continue on with your journey in life. I will give my children and husband a special hug and wish I could send one your way. Please take care of yourself and know you have caring friends and fellow bloggers out there thinking of you.

  • Reply missingmelville December 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Dear Heather, I am very sorry for your loss. Sometimes it is hard to let those we love go, even when the suffering they endure in this life is too much to bear. You have written simply and honestly of your love, and this tribute to Jon is deeply beautiful and filled with understanding. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Finding, creating, and sharing love is what is most important in this life, and you were both blessed to have the time you did. Thank you for all you give.

  • Reply missingmelville December 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Dear Heather, I am very sorry for your loss. Sometimes it is hard to let those we love go, even when the suffering they endure in this life is too much to bear. You have written simply and honestly of your love, and this tribute to Jon is deeply beautiful and filled with understanding. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Finding, creating, and sharing love is what is most important in this life, and you were both blessed to have the time you did. Thank you for all you give.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    It’s Kathy again. I just can’t get you and Jon out of my heart. I ache for you, Heather. Hugs!

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    It’s Kathy again. I just can’t get you and Jon out of my heart. I ache for you, Heather. Hugs!

  • Reply Debra Kolkka December 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Joe’s photos are beautiful and I’m sure he will be watching you from those clouds.

  • Reply Debra Kolkka December 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Joe’s photos are beautiful and I’m sure he will be watching you from those clouds.

  • Reply 2summers December 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I want you all to know that I’ve read every comment. I’m just too overwhelmed to respond individually right now. Thank you all for your love and support.

  • Reply 2summers December 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I want you all to know that I’ve read every comment. I’m just too overwhelmed to respond individually right now. Thank you all for your love and support.

  • Reply Rebecca December 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Heather, we haven’t met but I read every post on your blog. I am utterly heartbroken for you, and so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you xox

  • Reply Rebecca December 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Heather, we haven’t met but I read every post on your blog. I am utterly heartbroken for you, and so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you xox

  • Reply emmanuellechiche December 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Love you girl. keep it up. i think that’s what Jon wants. He doesn’t want you to be sad.

  • Reply emmanuellechiche December 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Love you girl. keep it up. i think that’s what Jon wants. He doesn’t want you to be sad.

  • Reply Sandor Oroszi December 21, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Heather,
    We met at the Joburg Photowalkers Year end shindig, and shortly after that I read a blog of yours, sharing your heartache about “Joe”, and the dark place he was in. You opened your heart to us all and brought us in with your words.
    Now Your heart is broken, and you’ve shared that with us again. Words cannot explain how I, we, all feel for and with you. Many have lost someone close. I am deeply saddened by your loss, and never having met Jon, I have come to understand the impact he has had on SO many people, and you especially. We cannot help you to mend your heart – we can only help to ease the pain a little.
    Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences on your loss. Thinking of you…

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Sandor, to you and all the rest of the Photowalkers. You’ve brought a lot to my life, and to Jon’s.

  • Reply Sandor Oroszi December 21, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Heather,
    We met at the Joburg Photowalkers Year end shindig, and shortly after that I read a blog of yours, sharing your heartache about “Joe”, and the dark place he was in. You opened your heart to us all and brought us in with your words.
    Now Your heart is broken, and you’ve shared that with us again. Words cannot explain how I, we, all feel for and with you. Many have lost someone close. I am deeply saddened by your loss, and never having met Jon, I have come to understand the impact he has had on SO many people, and you especially. We cannot help you to mend your heart – we can only help to ease the pain a little.
    Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences on your loss. Thinking of you…

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Sandor, to you and all the rest of the Photowalkers. You’ve brought a lot to my life, and to Jon’s.

  • Reply Jennifer Higgins December 21, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Heather, your mother filled me in on your tragic loss. I hope the good memories and times that you and Jon shared will help ease the pain that you are suffering. You were blessed to have him in your life even if it was for a short time. I’m so glad that Suzannah will be joining you soon. You are in our thoughts. Stay strong.

  • Reply Jennifer Higgins December 21, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Heather, your mother filled me in on your tragic loss. I hope the good memories and times that you and Jon shared will help ease the pain that you are suffering. You were blessed to have him in your life even if it was for a short time. I’m so glad that Suzannah will be joining you soon. You are in our thoughts. Stay strong.

  • Reply Kate December 21, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Oh Heather. I am so sorry. I cannot imagine the loss of my partner and I’m sorry you have to endure the loss of yours. My deepest sympathies to you.

  • Reply Kate December 21, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Oh Heather. I am so sorry. I cannot imagine the loss of my partner and I’m sorry you have to endure the loss of yours. My deepest sympathies to you.

  • Reply Fidel December 21, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I sent you an email, but I want to also say hear that my condolences and heart are with you.
    I was fortunate to be able to see Jon’s work and I am glad that his memory can live on with the beautiful photography he left us.

  • Reply Fidel December 21, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I sent you an email, but I want to also say hear that my condolences and heart are with you.
    I was fortunate to be able to see Jon’s work and I am glad that his memory can live on with the beautiful photography he left us.

  • Reply Precious Woman Project International December 21, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Dearest 2summers….I am so so sorry to hear this sad news. I have tears pouring down my cheeks, drenching my keyboard as I write.
    I am a Swazi South African, born in Mbabane, grew up in Durban, University in Pietermaritzburg, worked most of my adult life in Joburg and for the past 5 years have been living in Calgary, Canada.
    I love reading your posts. Your photography is an inspiration.
    Of course I was most intrigued by your trip to Swaziland….and Joe’s favourite photo taken there really touched me as it captured so much.
    II wish you all the courage and strength at this time

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks so much. Swaziland was a very special place for Jon and me. We have lots of fond memories there together. I’m glad to know that photo touched you. It used to hang above my cubicle when I worked in Washington.

  • Reply Precious Woman Project International December 21, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Dearest 2summers….I am so so sorry to hear this sad news. I have tears pouring down my cheeks, drenching my keyboard as I write.
    I am a Swazi South African, born in Mbabane, grew up in Durban, University in Pietermaritzburg, worked most of my adult life in Joburg and for the past 5 years have been living in Calgary, Canada.
    I love reading your posts. Your photography is an inspiration.
    Of course I was most intrigued by your trip to Swaziland….and Joe’s favourite photo taken there really touched me as it captured so much.
    II wish you all the courage and strength at this time

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks so much. Swaziland was a very special place for Jon and me. We have lots of fond memories there together. I’m glad to know that photo touched you. It used to hang above my cubicle when I worked in Washington.

  • Reply tanner24 December 21, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Heather, I’ve followed your blog for some time now and have fallen in love with your stories and photos time and time again. Today, my heart hurts. Words fall short at times like this, but my thoughts are with you as you find your way through this difficult time.

    Lori

  • Reply tanner24 December 21, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Heather, I’ve followed your blog for some time now and have fallen in love with your stories and photos time and time again. Today, my heart hurts. Words fall short at times like this, but my thoughts are with you as you find your way through this difficult time.

    Lori

  • Reply Steve Bandoma December 21, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Ohhh Heather, this news made me cry!!! Jon was the best. I remember the day we meet at NIROX Foundation. here is what you and Jon havve done for me! http://jonhrusaphotos.com/photo-stories/nirox-arts-foundation/nirox-arts-foundation-and-artists-residence-in-the-cradle-of-humankind-15/

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you Steve. Jon was very moved by our visit to Nirox and by you and your work. I’ll always remember that day.

      xo, Heather

  • Reply Steve Bandoma December 21, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Ohhh Heather, this news made me cry!!! Jon was the best. I remember the day we meet at NIROX Foundation. here is what you and Jon havve done for me! http://jonhrusaphotos.com/photo-stories/nirox-arts-foundation/nirox-arts-foundation-and-artists-residence-in-the-cradle-of-humankind-15/

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you Steve. Jon was very moved by our visit to Nirox and by you and your work. I’ll always remember that day.

      xo, Heather

  • Reply Anne-Marie December 21, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Big hugs won’t help your big heartache, but I send them anyway. He revealed to you the real you, and nothing can take that away. I’m proud of the person he helped you become.

  • Reply Anne-Marie December 21, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Big hugs won’t help your big heartache, but I send them anyway. He revealed to you the real you, and nothing can take that away. I’m proud of the person he helped you become.

  • Reply Ellen LaMartina December 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Dear Heather,
    You write so beautifully about your love for Jon and the true understanding of him and the pain that he bore. I know you felt it also. His photographs are gorgeous, and I know that he taught you much. Please know that all of your family and friends back in the US are thinking of you and wishing we could be with you now. Lots of love and hugs.
    Ellen

  • Reply Ellen LaMartina December 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Dear Heather,
    You write so beautifully about your love for Jon and the true understanding of him and the pain that he bore. I know you felt it also. His photographs are gorgeous, and I know that he taught you much. Please know that all of your family and friends back in the US are thinking of you and wishing we could be with you now. Lots of love and hugs.
    Ellen

  • Reply Michelle December 21, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I am so sad to read this. I started reading your blog last spring as I was preparing for my trip to Swaziland and Joburg. I’ve been a regular since then, I’ve so enjoyed your stories and pictures.

    Anyways, I wanted you to know that I’ve been touched by all that you’ve shared and I’ve spent some time today praying for you. I also love pictures of clouds so I do think it’s good you got some shots on your blackberry. (hugs from Canada)

  • Reply Michelle December 21, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I am so sad to read this. I started reading your blog last spring as I was preparing for my trip to Swaziland and Joburg. I’ve been a regular since then, I’ve so enjoyed your stories and pictures.

    Anyways, I wanted you to know that I’ve been touched by all that you’ve shared and I’ve spent some time today praying for you. I also love pictures of clouds so I do think it’s good you got some shots on your blackberry. (hugs from Canada)

  • Reply Munira December 21, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I’m new on your blog Heather, but was intrigued about the elusive Joe, the few posts that I have read.
    He certainly had a great eye, didn’t he? Loved the photos and wish I could see more of them. The last one is my favorite I think.
    Just wanted you to know that this was a beautiful post, and that it made me very sad. May you have the strength to bear the loss of him. My heart goes out to you.

    • Reply 2summers December 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Hi Munira. Thanks so much for your comment. If you’d like to see more of Jon’s photos, here is his website: http://jonhrusaphotos.com/.

      • Reply Munira December 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

        I’m browsing them right now and they’re wonderful! 🙂
        Strange though…it’s like seeing Africa through his eyes….

  • Reply Munira December 21, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I’m new on your blog Heather, but was intrigued about the elusive Joe, the few posts that I have read.
    He certainly had a great eye, didn’t he? Loved the photos and wish I could see more of them. The last one is my favorite I think.
    Just wanted you to know that this was a beautiful post, and that it made me very sad. May you have the strength to bear the loss of him. My heart goes out to you.

    • Reply 2summers December 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Hi Munira. Thanks so much for your comment. If you’d like to see more of Jon’s photos, here is his website: http://jonhrusaphotos.com/.

      • Reply Munira December 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

        I’m browsing them right now and they’re wonderful! 🙂
        Strange though…it’s like seeing Africa through his eyes….

  • Reply Sharon Reynolds December 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Heather, Darren Smith introduced me to your blog and I have loved following it, your love for Africa is palpable. I don’t really do words, I can never seem to say what I am really feeling, but just want you to know my heart is sore for you. May Africa hold you and comfort you

  • Reply Sharon Reynolds December 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Heather, Darren Smith introduced me to your blog and I have loved following it, your love for Africa is palpable. I don’t really do words, I can never seem to say what I am really feeling, but just want you to know my heart is sore for you. May Africa hold you and comfort you

  • Reply Joburg Expat December 21, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Heather, I’m so so sorry. You are in my thoughts, and so is Jon, who I’m sorry I never got to meet. It was evident he was such a big part of your life. I wish you strength for the coming weeks and months.

  • Reply Joburg Expat December 21, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Heather, I’m so so sorry. You are in my thoughts, and so is Jon, who I’m sorry I never got to meet. It was evident he was such a big part of your life. I wish you strength for the coming weeks and months.

  • Reply miadidthis December 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Oh Heather, my heart hurts for you. May he rest in peace. And may you find peace too. His photos are amazing, and they will always be. Thank you so much for sharing them over the past year.

  • Reply miadidthis December 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Oh Heather, my heart hurts for you. May he rest in peace. And may you find peace too. His photos are amazing, and they will always be. Thank you so much for sharing them over the past year.

  • Reply Darren Smith (@DazMSmith) December 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I have no words.
    This morning I got up at 4:30am.
    I took some photographs of the morning sky.
    And clouds.
    The sunrise.
    Tears in my eyes. Like now.
    Sterkte.

  • Reply Darren Smith (@DazMSmith) December 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I have no words.
    This morning I got up at 4:30am.
    I took some photographs of the morning sky.
    And clouds.
    The sunrise.
    Tears in my eyes. Like now.
    Sterkte.

  • Reply greenfizzpops December 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. *hug*

  • Reply greenfizzpops December 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. *hug*

  • Reply Robyn Gwilt December 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

    A beautiful tribute Heather. I didnt know Jon, but I’m glad I met you. I NEVER forget to look at the sky, and ALWAYS photograph clouds…. there’s one extra person I’ll send light for now whenever I look at them…

  • Reply Robyn Gwilt December 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

    A beautiful tribute Heather. I didnt know Jon, but I’m glad I met you. I NEVER forget to look at the sky, and ALWAYS photograph clouds…. there’s one extra person I’ll send light for now whenever I look at them…

  • Reply Grahame Hall December 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Heartfelt condolences, Heather. xoxox

  • Reply Grahame Hall December 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Heartfelt condolences, Heather. xoxox

  • Reply Catherine December 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Heather, last night we did as you asked, we hugged and thought very hard about two people we have never met but who touched our hearts…

  • Reply Catherine December 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Heather, last night we did as you asked, we hugged and thought very hard about two people we have never met but who touched our hearts…

  • Reply joshimukard December 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Shocking.

    Don’t know what to say…….Heartfelt condolences, Heather.

  • Reply joshimukard December 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Shocking.

    Don’t know what to say…….Heartfelt condolences, Heather.

  • Reply epicureaddict December 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I am South African, I live in Melbourne, Aus. I love your blog and all the pics remind me of what I miss about Africa. I’m so sorry, I wish it wasnt like this. Sending much love and beautiful energy, and dont stop writing – it will help I’m sure.

    Innige simpatie

    almay

  • Reply epicureaddict December 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I am South African, I live in Melbourne, Aus. I love your blog and all the pics remind me of what I miss about Africa. I’m so sorry, I wish it wasnt like this. Sending much love and beautiful energy, and dont stop writing – it will help I’m sure.

    Innige simpatie

    almay

  • Reply Spiral Dreamer December 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Sad indeed, very sad day when a friend is lost. My condolences.

  • Reply Spiral Dreamer December 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Sad indeed, very sad day when a friend is lost. My condolences.

  • Reply Peter December 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. And so very sad.

    Jon and I worked together at The Pretoria News in another life. Went on countless assignments together. Shared the easy reporter/photographer relationship that anyone who has ever worked in a newsroom will know about. We once were sent to the home of a young girl who had died some gruesome death glean pics and info from her grieving family. We drove there in silence. Parked outside the house. Looked at each other. Said, almost simultaneously: we can’t do this. So we told the news editor there was no-one home.

    He was a sensitive, clever man. I will remember him with the utmost fondness.

    My deepest, deepest condolences.

    • Reply 2summers December 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you Peter, that’s a wonderful story.

  • Reply Peter December 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. And so very sad.

    Jon and I worked together at The Pretoria News in another life. Went on countless assignments together. Shared the easy reporter/photographer relationship that anyone who has ever worked in a newsroom will know about. We once were sent to the home of a young girl who had died some gruesome death glean pics and info from her grieving family. We drove there in silence. Parked outside the house. Looked at each other. Said, almost simultaneously: we can’t do this. So we told the news editor there was no-one home.

    He was a sensitive, clever man. I will remember him with the utmost fondness.

    My deepest, deepest condolences.

    • Reply 2summers December 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you Peter, that’s a wonderful story.

  • Reply taxslaveShona December 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss – have been following the blog for months and thought I have never met you feel like I have as you write so beautifully. Condolences on your loss, I also from reading the blog did not realise what was really taking place – may your friends be your family at this time, Shona

  • Reply taxslaveShona December 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss – have been following the blog for months and thought I have never met you feel like I have as you write so beautifully. Condolences on your loss, I also from reading the blog did not realise what was really taking place – may your friends be your family at this time, Shona

  • Reply eremophila December 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This afternoon I watched birds riding the thermals in the summer sky….at times they would disappear into the void, before appearing again. It made me think perhaps it’s just like this for souls….always here, just not always visible….
    Peace to you dearest Heather. ♥

  • Reply eremophila December 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This afternoon I watched birds riding the thermals in the summer sky….at times they would disappear into the void, before appearing again. It made me think perhaps it’s just like this for souls….always here, just not always visible….
    Peace to you dearest Heather. ♥

  • Reply Mr Bunny Chow December 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Heather I’m truly sorry for your loss, this post is a beautiful tribute

  • Reply Mr Bunny Chow December 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Heather I’m truly sorry for your loss, this post is a beautiful tribute

  • Reply Zach December 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Hey. Please could you let me know on funeral arrangements and if there will be a service for my dear mate Jon.

    Big love
    Zach

  • Reply Jennifer Rikkers December 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Heather- I am so sorry for your loss. I have such warm memories of Jon on AWA. What I remember most was his kind and generous spirit during that journey. I truly admired his work. I too remember that moment at the clinic with the girl on the teeter-totter. I was standing next to him and gasped when I saw it. He and I , both cameras in hand, went over to capture that beautiful moment. It was beautiful….he could see the beauty in all these things….and of course, in you.
    My thoughts are with you.

  • Reply Jennifer Rikkers December 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Heather- I am so sorry for your loss. I have such warm memories of Jon on AWA. What I remember most was his kind and generous spirit during that journey. I truly admired his work. I too remember that moment at the clinic with the girl on the teeter-totter. I was standing next to him and gasped when I saw it. He and I , both cameras in hand, went over to capture that beautiful moment. It was beautiful….he could see the beauty in all these things….and of course, in you.
    My thoughts are with you.

  • Reply sandalsandsocks December 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    there really aren’t adequate words to write, heather. we are thinking of you and sending you tons of love. as my mom once told me “cry, cry, cry.” it was great advice and all i could really do anyways. it was good to hear it was okay to embrace it–it allowed for some laughter in between nose blows!
    much love, dixie

  • Reply sandalsandsocks December 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    there really aren’t adequate words to write, heather. we are thinking of you and sending you tons of love. as my mom once told me “cry, cry, cry.” it was great advice and all i could really do anyways. it was good to hear it was okay to embrace it–it allowed for some laughter in between nose blows!
    much love, dixie

  • Reply Greg December 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Heather..I am so sorry to hear about Jon’s passing. I only knew him through your blog, but can say that he was an amazing photographer. I hope he has found peace. You are in my thoughts during this time of sorrow.

  • Reply Greg December 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Heather..I am so sorry to hear about Jon’s passing. I only knew him through your blog, but can say that he was an amazing photographer. I hope he has found peace. You are in my thoughts during this time of sorrow.

  • Reply Deano December 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Heather we are very, very sorry to hear of your loss! We can’t imagine what you are going through. Our prayers are with you………please know this.

    Dean & Mary

  • Reply Deano December 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Heather we are very, very sorry to hear of your loss! We can’t imagine what you are going through. Our prayers are with you………please know this.

    Dean & Mary

  • Reply Derek Smith December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I have no words, as words will not be able do even touch the void of what you’re going through right now. Take care of yourself and please remember you have an extended family in Jozi that’s there for you. Lots of Love

  • Reply Derek Smith December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I have no words, as words will not be able do even touch the void of what you’re going through right now. Take care of yourself and please remember you have an extended family in Jozi that’s there for you. Lots of Love

  • Reply Lu December 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Oh Heather – I am so sorry to hear this, and so sorry for your loss.
    Heartfelt condolences and big hugs to you at this sad time

  • Reply Lu December 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Oh Heather – I am so sorry to hear this, and so sorry for your loss.
    Heartfelt condolences and big hugs to you at this sad time

  • Reply Caroline Hurry December 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    What a beautiful, moving piece … Jon will always live in your heart … and your heart, too, will heal with time. I am always here for you, Heather. Your clouds are beautiful …

  • Reply Caroline Hurry December 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    What a beautiful, moving piece … Jon will always live in your heart … and your heart, too, will heal with time. I am always here for you, Heather. Your clouds are beautiful …

  • Reply Maisie December 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Heather, I am so sad for you. I feel like I was there on the ground floor when you and Jon were first falling in love and I was so proud of you for taking the road less traveled to be with him. He is an amazing photographer and person and I am so lucky to have met him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply Maisie December 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Heather, I am so sad for you. I feel like I was there on the ground floor when you and Jon were first falling in love and I was so proud of you for taking the road less traveled to be with him. He is an amazing photographer and person and I am so lucky to have met him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply Steve Crabtree December 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I’m so sad for you, Heather. Thanks for sharing some of Jon’s amazing work — he leaves an enormously powerful and moving legacy.

  • Reply Steve Crabtree December 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I’m so sad for you, Heather. Thanks for sharing some of Jon’s amazing work — he leaves an enormously powerful and moving legacy.

  • Reply Paige December 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Heather,

    So very sorry to hear about your loss. Even though we haven’t met, I feel as if I know you thanks to your beautifully written blog. May you find comfort in knowing that Jon is at peace now. Thanks so much sharing your life with us. My prayers are with you.

  • Reply Paige December 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Heather,

    So very sorry to hear about your loss. Even though we haven’t met, I feel as if I know you thanks to your beautifully written blog. May you find comfort in knowing that Jon is at peace now. Thanks so much sharing your life with us. My prayers are with you.

  • Reply Pandionna December 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I’m a new reader, having just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I added your blog to my feed not only because I enjoy your writing, but because the photography is beautiful. Surely others have been, and will be, drawn to your blog for the same reasons, and in that way, Jon’s work will keep giving–to the world through you, and to you through the people you meet and friends you make. Please accept my condolences on your loss.

  • Reply Pandionna December 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I’m a new reader, having just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I added your blog to my feed not only because I enjoy your writing, but because the photography is beautiful. Surely others have been, and will be, drawn to your blog for the same reasons, and in that way, Jon’s work will keep giving–to the world through you, and to you through the people you meet and friends you make. Please accept my condolences on your loss.

  • Reply Jaco Roets December 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Our thoughts are with you Heather. Its not much, I know. Wish we could do more, but at least now you know that you are still not alone. And what a great way to honor J. He had such an eye for beauty. And thanks to you we got to see the world through his eyes for a second.

  • Reply Jaco Roets December 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Our thoughts are with you Heather. Its not much, I know. Wish we could do more, but at least now you know that you are still not alone. And what a great way to honor J. He had such an eye for beauty. And thanks to you we got to see the world through his eyes for a second.

  • Reply Tristan Hall December 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Wow. It seems so hard to believe. We met on the Gautrain when it launched… seems like yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing at a time that it must be very hard and reminding us to remember those who are close to us.

  • Reply Tristan Hall December 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Wow. It seems so hard to believe. We met on the Gautrain when it launched… seems like yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing at a time that it must be very hard and reminding us to remember those who are close to us.

  • Reply Marlene Bockler December 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Oh Heather, I’m so sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Reply Marlene Bockler December 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Oh Heather, I’m so sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Reply Philip Schedler December 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Heather..

    We never met, but I’ve known Jon since the late 80’s (we were both photographers during our national service) On and off we crossed paths after that and I was pleased and impressed how his career as a photographer took off in leaps and bounds. From children to penguins to cricketers and trees, Jon was the man to capture the image with absolute creativity and compassion. The Jon I knew as a kind, sensitive and caring man, always willing to give advice and support. A few months back at the closing of the exhibition at the Melville visitor centre, we made plans to get together again and relive those old days… sadly this never happened
    Be strong in the knowledge that Jon is now in a better place, a place with strong solid trees, soft wispy clouds and endless light..

    RIP mate.. Philip

    • Reply 2summers December 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Philip. I’ve admired your work at Visitors Centre and Jon told me many nice things about you. I don’t know how to thank you for this beautiful comment. You’ve captured all the best things about Jon in one short paragraph. I hope to meet you sometime very soon. All the best, Heather

  • Reply Philip Schedler December 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Heather..

    We never met, but I’ve known Jon since the late 80’s (we were both photographers during our national service) On and off we crossed paths after that and I was pleased and impressed how his career as a photographer took off in leaps and bounds. From children to penguins to cricketers and trees, Jon was the man to capture the image with absolute creativity and compassion. The Jon I knew as a kind, sensitive and caring man, always willing to give advice and support. A few months back at the closing of the exhibition at the Melville visitor centre, we made plans to get together again and relive those old days… sadly this never happened
    Be strong in the knowledge that Jon is now in a better place, a place with strong solid trees, soft wispy clouds and endless light..

    RIP mate.. Philip

    • Reply 2summers December 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Philip. I’ve admired your work at Visitors Centre and Jon told me many nice things about you. I don’t know how to thank you for this beautiful comment. You’ve captured all the best things about Jon in one short paragraph. I hope to meet you sometime very soon. All the best, Heather

  • Reply Michael Hook December 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Hi Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences. I didn’t know Jon, but I knew his work. I knew his photographs. I have been on his website many times. I could see his passion for what he did. As a photographer myself, we are very often left with scars in what we see and what we photograph. Not always to shock, but to show a truth. I believe Jon showed a truth.

    Someone once told me this story: The average photograph takes1/250 of a second to take. If you were considered a great photographer, you might be remembered for about 4 photographs. That is only 1 second of your life! The most important thing however, is the time in between every shutter.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Mike

  • Reply Michael Hook December 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Hi Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences. I didn’t know Jon, but I knew his work. I knew his photographs. I have been on his website many times. I could see his passion for what he did. As a photographer myself, we are very often left with scars in what we see and what we photograph. Not always to shock, but to show a truth. I believe Jon showed a truth.

    Someone once told me this story: The average photograph takes1/250 of a second to take. If you were considered a great photographer, you might be remembered for about 4 photographs. That is only 1 second of your life! The most important thing however, is the time in between every shutter.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Mike

  • Reply Graeme Adamson December 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    My condolences, Heather; I was saddened to learn of Jon’s passing.

    I knew Jon at school; he went for a while to St Andrew’s School, in Bloemfontein, and he was a grade ahead of me. I liked him a lot; he was cheeky, and always had an impish smile. He was a really good singer; he was in the school choir.

    He told me once of something he’d supposedly done. He said that he had read up on how to make nitroglycerine (and told me enough to convince me he’d done a good bit of research!), had made some, and then had tested it by dropping it from the top floor of a tall block of apartments in Bloemfontein. The resulting explosion had left a great hole, which had subsequently been turned into a swimming pool. In my naivety, I believed that for a good few years.

    I never saw him again after he left the school, but I was pleased every time I saw a photograph by him in the newspapers.

    Graeme

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Graeme,

      What a funny story. Actually, I’m pretty sure he told me the exact same story 🙂

      Thank you for the message.

      Cheers,
      Heather

  • Reply Graeme Adamson December 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    My condolences, Heather; I was saddened to learn of Jon’s passing.

    I knew Jon at school; he went for a while to St Andrew’s School, in Bloemfontein, and he was a grade ahead of me. I liked him a lot; he was cheeky, and always had an impish smile. He was a really good singer; he was in the school choir.

    He told me once of something he’d supposedly done. He said that he had read up on how to make nitroglycerine (and told me enough to convince me he’d done a good bit of research!), had made some, and then had tested it by dropping it from the top floor of a tall block of apartments in Bloemfontein. The resulting explosion had left a great hole, which had subsequently been turned into a swimming pool. In my naivety, I believed that for a good few years.

    I never saw him again after he left the school, but I was pleased every time I saw a photograph by him in the newspapers.

    Graeme

    • Reply 2summers December 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Graeme,

      What a funny story. Actually, I’m pretty sure he told me the exact same story 🙂

      Thank you for the message.

      Cheers,
      Heather

  • Reply Mario Milani December 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Having left sa years ago I lost contact with Jon and recently found him on Facebook, we were at saints together, sang in the choir, he had a much better voice than me and loads more talent! Will miss him. Would love to have some of his work to put in my office, anyone have some they can share?

  • Reply Mario Milani December 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Having left sa years ago I lost contact with Jon and recently found him on Facebook, we were at saints together, sang in the choir, he had a much better voice than me and loads more talent! Will miss him. Would love to have some of his work to put in my office, anyone have some they can share?

  • Reply Ariel D'Onofrio December 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Dear Heather,

    I had no idea why you left D.C. or what you were doing in Africa. I remember talking to you about your trips to Africa, and seeing how your face would light up. I also remember thinking, how could T not be going on these trips when they seemed to be so very life altering to you? I remember looking at your pictures and thinking they were really good. It is not until reading this post that I am so fully aware of the driving forces behind your decision. I never felt like you were cultivating your true depth here in D.C.or with T. I am simply a silent observer with no right to say that. But I always felt it. Your writing, what you are doing for the people of Africa and your amazing tribute to Jon speak volumes about you as a human. The words you wrote about Jon have haunted me since I read them. I keep coming back to your page to try to understand more. What I do understand is that you have had an amazing experience to love and be loved no matter how brief or painful parts of it might have been. You have grown and experienced more in your brief time with Jon than many of us do in a lifetime. I look forward to reading more of your blog and hopefully hearing more of how your found yourself through Jon’s love. It is a touching, human and beautiful story that you truly paint like an artist with your beautiful words. I am truly sorry for you loss.

    Love,
    Ariel

  • Reply Ariel D'Onofrio December 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Dear Heather,

    I had no idea why you left D.C. or what you were doing in Africa. I remember talking to you about your trips to Africa, and seeing how your face would light up. I also remember thinking, how could T not be going on these trips when they seemed to be so very life altering to you? I remember looking at your pictures and thinking they were really good. It is not until reading this post that I am so fully aware of the driving forces behind your decision. I never felt like you were cultivating your true depth here in D.C.or with T. I am simply a silent observer with no right to say that. But I always felt it. Your writing, what you are doing for the people of Africa and your amazing tribute to Jon speak volumes about you as a human. The words you wrote about Jon have haunted me since I read them. I keep coming back to your page to try to understand more. What I do understand is that you have had an amazing experience to love and be loved no matter how brief or painful parts of it might have been. You have grown and experienced more in your brief time with Jon than many of us do in a lifetime. I look forward to reading more of your blog and hopefully hearing more of how your found yourself through Jon’s love. It is a touching, human and beautiful story that you truly paint like an artist with your beautiful words. I am truly sorry for you loss.

    Love,
    Ariel

  • Reply Roger Machin December 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Dear Heather ,
    We have never met , but I’ve known Jon for almost 15 years. He travelled with me on the very first of Canon’s EOS roadshows in the early 2000’s. He knew so much about light , photography and the cameras that I could not help but learn from him. He taught me things about my cameras that I have shared with thousands of others. His greatest legacy that you might not know about is the inspiration he shared with so many photographers – to make them see light better , to take better pictures. I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man. I will forver remember his firm handshake , cheeky grin and his passion.
    My sincerest condolences to you and his family – please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything. I have some old pictures of him on our travels together if you wish…
    Regards
    Roger Machin
    Product Manager photographic – Canon South Africa.

    • Reply 2summers December 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks so much for your message. Jon mentioned you several times and told me about the road shows. I really appreciate all the kind words you’ve written about him. I do know about the inspiration that Jon shared, although perhaps I didn’t realize the scale of it until now. My father is a photographer and I’m very passionate about photography. Jon was the one who convinced me to buy my first DSLR and lens — a Canon 60D with a 10-22. I’ve picked up a few of his tricks myself 🙂

      I knew and respected Jon’s work for quite a while before meeting him in person. It’s hard to believe that both Jon the photographer and Jon the person are both gone. But at least we still have his pictures, and the learning he passed on to others.

      Thank you again for remembering so many special things about Jon.
      Heather

  • Reply Roger Machin December 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Dear Heather ,
    We have never met , but I’ve known Jon for almost 15 years. He travelled with me on the very first of Canon’s EOS roadshows in the early 2000’s. He knew so much about light , photography and the cameras that I could not help but learn from him. He taught me things about my cameras that I have shared with thousands of others. His greatest legacy that you might not know about is the inspiration he shared with so many photographers – to make them see light better , to take better pictures. I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man. I will forver remember his firm handshake , cheeky grin and his passion.
    My sincerest condolences to you and his family – please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything. I have some old pictures of him on our travels together if you wish…
    Regards
    Roger Machin
    Product Manager photographic – Canon South Africa.

    • Reply 2summers December 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks so much for your message. Jon mentioned you several times and told me about the road shows. I really appreciate all the kind words you’ve written about him. I do know about the inspiration that Jon shared, although perhaps I didn’t realize the scale of it until now. My father is a photographer and I’m very passionate about photography. Jon was the one who convinced me to buy my first DSLR and lens — a Canon 60D with a 10-22. I’ve picked up a few of his tricks myself 🙂

      I knew and respected Jon’s work for quite a while before meeting him in person. It’s hard to believe that both Jon the photographer and Jon the person are both gone. But at least we still have his pictures, and the learning he passed on to others.

      Thank you again for remembering so many special things about Jon.
      Heather

  • Reply Chris Chaplin December 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Heather,

    My sincere condolences to you and Jon’s family. He was a remarkable photographer and I always looked out for his photos. He told a story that many wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for his picture stories.

    I was in the same class at Saints with Jon, shared many good times with him. He had a great voice and sang a number of solos in the choir over the years. We saw each other again for a time in the defense force and then unfortunatly I lost contact with him.

    He was a great guy. I was really sorry to hear of his passing.

    Chris

    • Reply 2summers December 27, 2011 at 7:33 am

      Thank you Chris. It’s nice to hear from people who knew Jon in another lifetime. All the best, Heather

  • Reply Chris Chaplin December 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Heather,

    My sincere condolences to you and Jon’s family. He was a remarkable photographer and I always looked out for his photos. He told a story that many wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for his picture stories.

    I was in the same class at Saints with Jon, shared many good times with him. He had a great voice and sang a number of solos in the choir over the years. We saw each other again for a time in the defense force and then unfortunatly I lost contact with him.

    He was a great guy. I was really sorry to hear of his passing.

    Chris

    • Reply 2summers December 27, 2011 at 7:33 am

      Thank you Chris. It’s nice to hear from people who knew Jon in another lifetime. All the best, Heather

  • Reply Sheryl R. December 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Dearest Heather,
    My heart aches for you. Jon was a very special man who was passionate and deep. He had a talent far surpassing his years. He had the ability to capture life on film that spoke volumes. He might have struggled to express himself with words sometimes, but never with the camera. Your loss is huge and the pain so raw and blinding sometimes, we don’t know what to do with it. I am honoured to have read your blog, it captures Jon and your relationship so beautifully. I am honoured to have been part of both your journey’s. It was special and painful.
    Jon was cheeky, with a firm handshake, sad and deep but he loved you deeply and you have those memories to hold on to when it feels like the loss is too overwhelming. He was a good man and that’s what counts the most. I know your pain and share in some of it, I am so deeply saddened by your loss and my deepest condolences to you and Jon’s family, colleagues and friends. There is a whole sky full of clouds that are there for you daily to remind you of Jon and his love for you and Africa and it’s children. God Bless you dear.

    • Reply 2summers December 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Thank you Sheryl, and thanks for everything you’ve done for me and for Jon.

  • Reply Sheryl R. December 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Dearest Heather,
    My heart aches for you. Jon was a very special man who was passionate and deep. He had a talent far surpassing his years. He had the ability to capture life on film that spoke volumes. He might have struggled to express himself with words sometimes, but never with the camera. Your loss is huge and the pain so raw and blinding sometimes, we don’t know what to do with it. I am honoured to have read your blog, it captures Jon and your relationship so beautifully. I am honoured to have been part of both your journey’s. It was special and painful.
    Jon was cheeky, with a firm handshake, sad and deep but he loved you deeply and you have those memories to hold on to when it feels like the loss is too overwhelming. He was a good man and that’s what counts the most. I know your pain and share in some of it, I am so deeply saddened by your loss and my deepest condolences to you and Jon’s family, colleagues and friends. There is a whole sky full of clouds that are there for you daily to remind you of Jon and his love for you and Africa and it’s children. God Bless you dear.

    • Reply 2summers December 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Thank you Sheryl, and thanks for everything you’ve done for me and for Jon.

  • Reply tools January 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Wow! I love his pics, they are so Jon. I see him in them. I have read your other blogs, am truley touched. Wish he was here.
    The memories. I spoke to him before he left for Durban. I can tell you that you were on his mind, and in his heart. I know he is on your mind and in your heart.
    Thank you for your blog. I have somewhere i can go to to remember him.

    • Reply 2summers January 23, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Thank you, “Tools” 🙂

  • Reply tools January 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Wow! I love his pics, they are so Jon. I see him in them. I have read your other blogs, am truley touched. Wish he was here.
    The memories. I spoke to him before he left for Durban. I can tell you that you were on his mind, and in his heart. I know he is on your mind and in your heart.
    Thank you for your blog. I have somewhere i can go to to remember him.

    • Reply 2summers January 23, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Thank you, “Tools” 🙂

  • Reply bluebrightly December 22, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Seems to me you were lucky to have known Jon. I trust that this anniversary of his death was easier than the first, which would have been a year ago. Now I should wander around a bit and see more of his work, and yours.

  • Reply bluebrightly December 22, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Seems to me you were lucky to have known Jon. I trust that this anniversary of his death was easier than the first, which would have been a year ago. Now I should wander around a bit and see more of his work, and yours.

  • Reply beth June 14, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Beautiful photos and talented man. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply beth June 14, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Beautiful photos and talented man. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Mei March 24, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Coping with a loss is certainly very difficult… *Hugs* ;-;

    I really like his photography! The photos you posted are amazing! I couldn’t help but think that the one with the owl was related to Harry Potter. Something like another version of Harry.

    Stunning~!

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