I’m grateful that it’s sunny in Joburg on Christmas Day, even though the weather forecast predicted clouds and rain.

I’m grateful that my sister flew here from America to be with me, and that she decided to stage an impromptu photo session in the aloe tree this morning. That was a really nice Christmas present. Here is a photo strip documenting the experience.

Susanna climbs the tree.

Victorious in the aloe tree.

Photographing the Melville Koppies.

Then she realized getting out of the tree wasn’t as easy as getting in it. So she beseeched me to fetch her shoes.

Success. It felt good to laugh.

I’m grateful to the friends and readers who have reached out to me, lessening the weight of my grief by saying wonderful things about Jon, and about me. To each and every one of you, thanks. I’m especially grateful to the ‘blog girls’ (Martina, Namrata, and Karen) and my other Jozi friends (you know who you are) for taking such good care of me. I’m not sure I could have survived this week without you.

I grateful for Jon’s photographs, which I can use to remember him for the rest of my life. Here are a few more that I didn’t include in my previous post.

Mokhotlong District, Lesotho, September 2010. Jon watched these kids skipping rope for about 20 minutes, waiting to get the timing just right. Moments after he shot the frame, the rope fell apart.

Nelspruit, South Africa, November 2010.

Mfanzile Dlamini and his daughter Phiwa, Mukhulamini, Swaziland, November 2009. There is a beautiful, sad story behind this photo, which is too long for me to tell here. You can read more on Jon’s website. I also blogged about this family last year.

I’m grateful for a photo that Karen took of Jon and me a couple of months ago. It’s the best photo ever taken of the two of us. It’s also the last photo ever taken of us, and probably the last photo anyone ever took of Jon. Thanks to this photo, I will never, ever forget what Jon and I shared.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for reading my blog this year, and for being the best online friends a girl could ask for.

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦       ♦

For those looking for details on Jon’s memorial service: The service will be held on Thursday, 29 December, 11:00 a.m., at St. John the Evangelist Church in Benmore, Johannesburg.

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  • Reply MartinaInJozi December 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I’m grateful that I have met you and the other blog girls, as you are making my life in Jozi what it is. Im also grateful that Susanna is there – she looks a lot of fun! Hopefully she will still be there when I’m back from holiday.

    I love that picture of you and Jon – there is a lot of love and happiness in that picture

    • Reply landofnams December 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Amen, I agree with this. I love that picture of you and Jon. I’m glad Susanna came and I have special treat for you guys tomorrow!

      • Reply 2summers December 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

        Aw. Thank you Nams.

  • Reply Owls December 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    He caught wonderful shots of birds in flight. Very dramatic, and somehow symbolic it feels like.

  • Reply Debra Kolkka December 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Jon had a wonderful gift for photography. I am pleased you have your sister with you.

  • Reply thirdeyemom December 26, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Heather: I am so happy your sister is there with you! Family is so important and it is wonderful that she came. I call my sister everyday and tell her everything. I’m glad she is there for an ear to listen to, a shoulder to cry on, and a heart to laugh with. Jon’s photography is unbelievable and you truly picked spectacular photos to share with us. Wishing you peace, hope and recovery in 2012. Keep writing and taking pictures! You are amazing! Thinking of you as always, you blogging pal…Nicole

  • Reply campbellisaac December 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Heather,
    Sorry I couldn’t say anything earlier, but I have had very limited internet lately.
    I just want you to know that even though you don’t know me, because of 2Summers I feel like I know you, as a good friend. Which is kind of weird, now that I think about it. But, thank you so much for your blog, 2summers is probably one of the best I have ever read, and its the reason that I even got interested in blogging AND photography. You’ve had a big impact on me, and I’m sure many others ALL around the world, so just know that you are never without support.
    Good luck in 2012, and keep it up.

    • Reply 2summers December 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Wow. Thank you Campbell. That is incredibly nice of you to say. All the best to you in 2012 too.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough December 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I thought about you yesterday, Heather. So glad your sister is there with you. Hope you had some peace knowing having known Jon’s love for you. Hugs, my friend——————

    • Reply 2summers December 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

      Thanks Kathy. And thank Nicole, Debra, Drury and Martina. I’m behind in my comment response 🙂

  • Reply Tilly Bud December 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I’m so glad you are not alone at this awful time.

  • Reply Greg December 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Heather…I was thinking of you today. I am glad to see your sister is there with you now. It’s helpful to be near family during the hard times. Best wishes for tomorrow – and for the days and weeks that will follow.

    • Reply 2summers December 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Greg. I appreciate that.

  • Reply jackie hulme January 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Heather – your sister is a great girl flying out to be with you. I hope all is ok on your side. Im now back in Jozi – I don’t know your plans – but I am here if you need anything – just shout – if you need a friend, someone to talk too – etc etc etc – just reach out.

    • Reply 2summers January 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks so much Jackie. I appreciate that. See you soon.

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