A Special 2Summers Photo

This afternoon I found myself browsing through an external hard drive of Jon‘s. I came upon this photo.

2Summers enjoying coconut juice, straight from the source, at the Newtown Diwali Festival. (Photo courtesy of Jon/Joe.)

Jon, formerly known as Joe, took this photo in October at the Newtown Diwali Festival. I had planned to write a blog post about the festival, but it turned out to be rather boring and I never wrote about it. So I never asked Jon to give me the picture. I hadn’t seen it until today. Unbeknownst to me, he must have PhotoShopped it after the festival and then saved it on his hard drive.

As far as I remember, this is the last picture Jon took of me.

Many people don’t realize this about me, but I’m a little bit vain. I love having my photo taken. Comfort in front of the camera was bred into me from an early age by my dad, who is a photographer.

This is one of the reasons why Jon and I got on so well. I love being in front of the camera and he loved being behind it, especially when I was the subject.

Stumbling across the last photo Jon ever took of me inspired me to go dig up the first photo he ever took of me, snapped almost five years ago in Tanzania.

Taken at the Nkoaranga Orphanage, March 2007. The child’s name is Emmanuel. Read more about the day this photo was taken here. (Photo courtesy of Jon/Joe.)

Thank God for digital photography.

In fact, Jon took several lovely pictures of me on that trip to Tanzania. I’ve shared them below. (As I said, I’m vain. And Jon was really good at making me look nice in photos.)

All of these were taken as part of AIDS Walk Africa 2007, a fundraiser for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

I love how the baby is staring at me like I come from another planet. (Photo courtesy of Jon/Joe.)

Also taken at the Nkoaranga Orphanage. I love this baby. His name is Praygod. I often wonder where he is today. (Photo courtesy of Jon/Joe.)

Taken at the Nkoanekoli Primary School. I’ve shared this photo in my blog before but never tire of it. (Photo courtesy of Jon/Joe.)

The last time Jon and I saw each other was about two weeks before he died. It wasn’t a good day for either of us. But I’ll never forget one of the last things he said to me. He said, ‘Joe loves 2Summers’.

Thank God I have these photos to remind me of that.

Previous Post Next Post

36 Comments

  • Reply landofnams January 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I remember that first picture…you two ran off to drink coconut/photoshoot and everyone was jealous when you came back of both the coconut and the photo shoot.

    • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Yep. I’m really glad we did that!

  • Reply Bing January 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I love Jon’s shots, as always. I’m so glad you have them!

    Btw, that’s coconut juice. The clear white liquid in the coconut. Coconut milk is the stuff from the flesh of the coconut. You grate the white flesh and then squeeze out the liquids to get coconut milk. Trivial bit of information. =p Hahaha…

    • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I didn’t know that! Very interesting. I’ll change the text.

  • Reply Munira January 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Love the last photo. It’s simply lovely…..all those cute expressions!

    • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Yep, it’s a classic.

  • Reply thirdeyemom January 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Wow these are great photos! I love the one of the child staring into your eyes. Great memories! I am sure it is hard to go through the hard drive but perhaps provides a lot of comfort too. Hope you are taking care of yourself. Are you able to stay in Jozi indefinitely?

    • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks Nicole. I’m really grateful to have Jon’s photos and that so many of our memories are recorded in various places. I’m here for now and hoping to stay. One day at a time though 🙂

      • Reply thirdeyemom January 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        That sounds like a good way to take things. I need to follow your advice myself too. One day at a time.

        I hope to see more of your and Jon’s lovely photos. They are so beautiful and such treasures. Thanks so much for sharing.

        • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm

          One day at a time is definitely good advice, especially for me. I have no other choice, really. If I think beyond tomorrow I will lose my mind!

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough January 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Love Jon’s photos of you. I have to confess. I’m vain, as well–love to have my picture taken. I have no idea why or where it came from. My Sara, by comparison, HATES to have her photo taken. It’s weird the way we end up being.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough January 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Love Jon’s photos of you. I have to confess. I’m vain, as well–love to have my picture taken. I have no idea why or where it came from. My Sara, by comparison, HATES to have her photo taken. It’s weird the way we end up being.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Reply 2summers January 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  • Reply Catherine January 20, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Heather,
    thank you for another beautiful post,
    warm regards,
    Catherine

  • Reply Catherine January 20, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Heather,
    thank you for another beautiful post,
    warm regards,
    Catherine

  • Reply lisa@notesfromafrica January 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Jon was such a versatile photographer. I love his nature shots, but he was also so good at capturing candid shots of people. The ones he took of you are lovely.

    • Reply 2summers January 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

      I know, you’re right. And I haven’t even shared any of his sport photography yet, which is what he was best known for in ‘the business’.

  • Reply lisa@notesfromafrica January 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Jon was such a versatile photographer. I love his nature shots, but he was also so good at capturing candid shots of people. The ones he took of you are lovely.

    • Reply 2summers January 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

      I know, you’re right. And I haven’t even shared any of his sport photography yet, which is what he was best known for in ‘the business’.

  • Reply manuac January 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    thanks for following my blog, hope to meet you at one of the next photowalks!
    ciao
    manuela

    • Reply 2summers January 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Yes! Hope to see you soon.

  • Reply manuac January 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    thanks for following my blog, hope to meet you at one of the next photowalks!
    ciao
    manuela

    • Reply 2summers January 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Yes! Hope to see you soon.

  • Reply 1cruzdelsur February 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    All photographs are beautiful, the smiles of children are a gift to the heart.

  • Reply 1cruzdelsur February 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    All photographs are beautiful, the smiles of children are a gift to the heart.

  • Reply Amy July 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your website. I wanted to update you on baby PrayGod in your photo. Amazingly enough, that is the exact outfit I dressed him in the first day I met him in June 2007, although he had less hair. Fast forward to today, July 2012, and he has lived with me here in Tanzania for the past 33 months (since the end of September 2009). We go to court next week (again) to finalize his adoption. He has grown into a beautiful boy–inside and out. I know that is very cliche, but it is so true. He remains best friends with Emmanuel, also pictured. Emmanuel is in boarding school, but we just had a nice visit with him yesterday. I would love to see any other photos your talented friend might have taken of him that day you visited. I am so sorry for your loss and incredibly thankful for such a beautiful photo of my son that he took. You can see more photos on my (outdated) blog: kusalipray.blogspot.com

    • Reply 2summers July 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Amy, I just can’t believe this! Events like this make me so grateful to have a blog. The Nkoaranga Orphanage was a very special place for Jon and me. I actually spoke about it at the funeral — you can read about it in this post if you haven’t seen it already: http://2summers.net/2011/12/30/last-goodbye/.

      Congratulations to you on your beautiful son and I’m so happy to hear he’s still friends with Emmanuel, who I also remember very clearly. I’ll send you a separate email in a moment.

  • Reply Amy July 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your website. I wanted to update you on baby PrayGod in your photo. Amazingly enough, that is the exact outfit I dressed him in the first day I met him in June 2007, although he had less hair. Fast forward to today, July 2012, and he has lived with me here in Tanzania for the past 33 months (since the end of September 2009). We go to court next week (again) to finalize his adoption. He has grown into a beautiful boy–inside and out. I know that is very cliche, but it is so true. He remains best friends with Emmanuel, also pictured. Emmanuel is in boarding school, but we just had a nice visit with him yesterday. I would love to see any other photos your talented friend might have taken of him that day you visited. I am so sorry for your loss and incredibly thankful for such a beautiful photo of my son that he took. You can see more photos on my (outdated) blog: kusalipray.blogspot.com

    • Reply 2summers July 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Amy, I just can’t believe this! Events like this make me so grateful to have a blog. The Nkoaranga Orphanage was a very special place for Jon and me. I actually spoke about it at the funeral — you can read about it in this post if you haven’t seen it already: http://2summers.net/2011/12/30/last-goodbye/.

      Congratulations to you on your beautiful son and I’m so happy to hear he’s still friends with Emmanuel, who I also remember very clearly. I’ll send you a separate email in a moment.

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: