Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Last Post

We are fresh into 2015.  January 3 to be exact.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been going to update this blog.  Believe me, it has been many.

Procrastinate – postpone doing something. 

For the past few months, why have I procrastinated about this blog?  When I first started it, I was excited.  I was breathing life into my life.  It was my purpose to show you and others that if I could survive the death of a spouse anyone could.  I believe I have done that.

For the past few months, I have acknowledged what brings me sadness and what brings me joy.  The tangibles connected to sadness I have been eliminating.  An example would be the sympathy cards I received, from some of you, at the time of Ron’s death and celebration.  I appreciate the words of love, support, and encouragement scribed within, but I had to admit the cards shrouded me in sorrow.  On the other hand, I have kept many items that put a smile on my face and a glow in my heart: a Mickey Mouse hat, a down vest, and a Leatherman knife.    

This blog… this blog by its very existence was dragging me down.  Months ago, I knew it but I could not pin an explanation to my feelings as to why it brought  me down.  It all became apparent this past October.

When Ron was alive, our lives were intertwined.  My dreams were his and his were mine.  It’s the way we were.  Ron’s bucket list was mine.  It felt natural to fulfill his bucket list even though he moved on to the non-physical.  I sailed to new places on our beautiful British Columbia Coast and will continue to do so; I sailed from Hawaii to Victoria,  thus completing a blue-water cruise for Ron, and I have volunteered with TWECS which took me to Ecuador fulfilling our dream of helping others in a far-away place. Lastly, I transited the Panama Canal (albeit in a cruise ship) the most important and final item on Ron’s list. 

When our ship, from the Pacific, entered the Canal, my heart started racing.  I felt Ron’s energy and excitement.  I was almost bursting with anticipation of what I would see and experience.  I had two cameras ready to shoot stills and video.  It was a guess as to where to stand for the best view.  I wanted to see it all!

I positioned myself at the bow of the ship for the first set of locks –Miraflores Locks.  I wanted to see, head-on, into the Panama Canal.  I managed to squirm my way to the front of the crowd.  When the canal doors started to open I just about screamed with delight.  It was really happening; we were entering the Panama Canal. 

Next, and for the second set of locks – Pedro Miguel Locks, I knew that I had to witness the mules (mobile machines) and the men handling the lines for our ship.  I moved from the bow of the ship to starboard.  The system the Panamanians have in place, to move monster ships through the canal is methodical, deliberate, and efficient. 

After passing through the first two sets of locks, we cruised Gatun Lake to the third and final set – Gatun Locks.

I positioned myself at the stern of the ship to view where we had been – the Panama Canal.  Thousands travel the Canal each year but compared to the world population, I was one of the few. 

On the stern, I watched the last gate close.  We were now in the Caribbean Sea on the Atlantic side of Central America. As the crew released the lines and the ship made way to our next port, I tossed a bouquet of red roses to honour Ron and his dream.  His bucket list was complete.  In the minutes and hours to follow, I was overwhelmed by the plethora of thoughts and feelings I was experiencing: sad, content, ecstatic, and satisfied to name a few.  My emotions were all over the map.

LIBERATED!  I felt liberated.  Why would I feel such a thing?  It was an epiphany. I realized that I had fulfilled Ron’s dream list and now I must create my very own, brand new, Janice-only bucket list. I cried. They were tears of joy.  While doing so, I thanked Ron for all he has done for me, both in his physical and the non-physical life.  I also acknowledged that his support and encouragement will never end.  We are still one. 

So you see, I must let go of this blog.  I knew months ago, I just did not know why.  To do so is another act of releasing myself from the sadness, agony, and pain.  To do so allows me to relish the loving memories of my perfect life with my beautiful husband.  To do so allows me another fresh start.

The moment I understood why this blog had to stop I should have written the final entry.  But no, I still put it off.  I admit it was the resistance to face the tears and the agony that would come with the process I go through when writing something so personal.  Throughout this piece, I have had my moments.  I feel better now.  Writing this was the best thing for me to do today. 

What is next you ask?  I am learning to respect myself, and my time. I am learning to acknowledge what joy feels like again and to accept it with open arms.  I am learning to spread my wings a little wider, take more chances, and not worry what anyone else thinks. 

I will start another blog.  It has yet to be designed but is in the works.  You can find me on FaceBook.  Search for Janice Hayward, Photojournalist.  “LIKE” the page and you will get updates of pictures and what I am doing professionally. 

You can also find me at

I thank each and every one of you for following me.  Please feel free to contact me and stay in touch.

Each tomorrow is a fresh start. I will strive to be a better photographer, writer and person.

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