Emily’s Angel


I drove up to the cemetery on the way home last night, because it has the best vantage point of my little town and the new prision that is under construction.  It was dark out, pitch black actually, so I left my pickup running with the lights on pointed into the cemetery so I wouldn’t trip over any headstones.  I headed to the far end of the cemetery that overlooks the town and set my camera on a headstone (I didn’t have my tri-pod with me) to grab some shots of the prison lights.  Only one image kind of turned out. 

As I headed back to my pickup I was thinking about a classmate of my youngest son.  Her name was Emily and she died close to Valentines Day of their senior year.  She battled cystic fibrosis all of her life, but other than a few physical symptoms you’d never know – she kept it to herself and didn’t want to make a big deal of it.  That’s just the way she was.  Emily accomplished more in her young life than many adults have in theirs.  She was smart, funny, determined, motivated and loved life.  My son took her death hard – it was hard on the whole community.  The high school gym was over flowing with people paying their respects to Emily and her family. 

As I was walking and thinking, I caught a glimpse of an angel in the dark out of the corner of my eye.  I turned the flash on and composed a shot and the headstone was illuminated in the flash of the camera.  The angel and the headstone belonged to Emily.  Maybe it was Emily’s way of saying hi.  I hope so.

[Part of November in black and white. To read more about the challenge click here for more info.]



Filed under photography

14 responses to “Emily’s Angel

  1. Exceptional night capture…very moving words to accompany this image.

  2. Wow very moving story. What an amazing photo and story.

  3. I love the angle on the angel!

  4. This picture is just beautiful…and such a lovely story to go with it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Such a tragic story you just told us, and it’s very hard to swallow when these situations happen. I wish nothing but the best for Emily’s family and friends, and your shot is very nice and dramatic. =D

  6. Powerful..moving..very beautiful image. I have no words…

  7. wow. very moving story and image.

  8. ELK

    I think it was as well ~your image is delightful!

  9. Thanks everyone. 🙂

  10. You know, your words hit me this morning like a bullet to the bone.

    Moving, reflective, contemplative, wonderful. The photograph simply works, and combined with those words, a powerful post. Amazing

  11. Thank you, Paul. I appreciate your kind words. Emily was a wonderful young lady. She is missed.

  12. Thats a crazy story and an awesome shot – very fitting, thanks for sharing. John

  13. What a beautiful passage and accompanying photo.

  14. Planet M Files

    What a beautiful shot and a beautiful story.