You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Revisiting - Stocking Stuffers: A Chemo Christmas Story

originally published this story in 2012, Eve had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer, it had already spread to many parts of her body including the cervical spine. We were not sure how long she would last, we were hoping until Christmas at least. Well she fought, and fought hard. Not only did she make it to Christmas 2012, but she also made it to Christmas 2013. Eve lost her battle with cancer this past May. After 21 months strait of chemo therapy. So this is the first Christmas we will spend without her. I thought I would repost this story as a tribute to her strength and courage, and for all those battling cancer now.

The house had been decorated for Christmas, but decidedly less then the years preceding  There were garlands on the beams, with large red ornaments hanging equally spaced. Holly branches on the table surrounding the antique wooden religious statues. The fireplace equally ornate replete with the large Father Christmas center of the mantle, our signature decor. 

In addition 2 mismatched stockings, usually filled with trinkets and assorted items, hung empty. This holiday season had been spent on doctors appointments, lab tests, chemo treatments, radiation therapy, and more lab tests. There was little time, energy or even thoughts about those empty stockings.

Besides the variety of foods, drinks and sweets that one associates with Christmas, the one thing she enjoyed most at this time of the year was filling those stockings. Filing them with little things, that had very large meanings.

“After lunch I’d like you to take me to the mall, I need to buy some stocking stuffers for the kids” she said.
Don’t you think it might be a little to taxing for you?
“No” she said, “I know exactly what I want and I can do it rather quickly”
OK, we will go after lunch although I think the morning would be better, it gets very crowded this close to Christmas. But yes I will take you.
She took about 6 or 7 steps and sat down in the club chair.
“You know I just can’t, I don’t have the energy” she said with a look of resignation and defeat. Her eyes swelled ever so slightly, as if she were going to cry - but she didn’t.
(There are times I wish she would cry instead of holding it all back)
The kids will understand, they know what you’ve been going through.
“Yes but, the stockings are empty” she said
Wait I have an idea, I have to drive by the mall anyways today. Why don’t you tell me what you want and I’ll get them
“That’s a good idea, I’ll go online and send you the links - it’s all from one store anyways” she said, with a new found energy.

Those stockings may have only one item each inside, but more importantly they are filled with all the love that is in her heart.

Merry Christmas !!!

Not only did we lose Eve this year but her dog died a few weeks ago as well. The house is truly quiet and cold now, all of the energy is gone. Amongst the few items I have kept of Eve's was her red Burberry rain coat - she always wore it walking the dog. I have hung it up on a peg as a reminder of her joy of life and her love of her dog, who besides her children and myself brought her much comfort in her final days. 

With all of our hearts and all of our love what else is there left to say!

This story, words and images are copyright Peter Politanoff, may not be reproduced without explicit permission. Although you may share by posting a link to it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Surfing At The Manhattan Beach Pier - 2014.02.18

I haven't posted any surfing shots in a while, so here are some from the Manhattan Beach Pier this morning. Chris, Natalie, David, and Scott.

Click on the image to see larger!

As always, all images are copyright Peter Politanoff and all appropriate restrictions apply.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Urban Yoga

For some time now I have been wanting to do a photo series on yoga, just not your usual yoga shots. I wanted to shoot yoga in unlikely places, not the idyllic, rather, almost unfriendly places. This series was shot with fitness competitor Stephanie Danae at various abandoned industrial locations in the San Pedro and Terminal Island areas of Los Angeles County.  

This is just a first part of this series, which will continue to be shot in various locations around Los Angeles.

As always. all images and text are copyright Peter Politanoff and may not be reproduced without explicit consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.