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.

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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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