Isn’t it special how grace appears in many guises? As I write this, my mom-in-law is critically ill, having struggled with her health for some time. She’s in Port Elizabeth while a number of us extended family are in Jo’burg, grateful for the gift of technology that allows us to share our thoughts and feelings via voice messages on our WhatsApp group. It’s a moving and uniting experience, which contributes to the comfort of feeling closer together, despite the distance between us.

For me, this highlights the value of appreciating those closest to us, particularly during the festive season. It also reminds me of my father’s passing away from cancer, in early December 19 years ago. I was at my parents’ home in Cape Town, holding one of his hands while my mother held the other and my brother stroked his shoulder as his heart stopped beating. My twin sister just missed his last breath because she was called away by the need to breast feed her 2 week old daughter.

The presence of my father’s youngest sister, a former nurse, matron, hospital superintendent and a woman of deep faith, blessed us all with a sense of peace and grace that came from understanding that his passing was merely a matter of time and there was nothing required of us, or even possible for us to do, in order to ease things for him . . . but simply be there.

With gratitude for life and in the spirit of peace that permeates Christmas, this beautiful Irish blessing comes to mind, inspiring me to share it with you, as we transition from 2017 into 2018:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

For now we’re celebrating our memories, brought to life via photos and videos that feature Dave’s Mom among family and friends, for example at Welgevonden game reserve, pictured above. She so enjoyed visiting there, as we all do, with sincere thanks to Dave’s brother and his wife who own a share in a lodge there. We have fewer photos of my Dad from much longer ago, before I discovered the privilege and pleasure of photographing and filming people.

With this in mind, I encourage you to embrace the gift the camera offers to create a living legacy that you love – for you and your loved ones. While you’re at it, I wish you loads of fun, as well as the fulfillment of making your legacy as gorgeous as it can be! If not, why not?

Do you have a story to share about a gift of grace that you’ve received? If so, I’d love to know in the comments below. In the meantime, all the best for a blessed festive season and a fabulous New Year, filled with health, wealth, happiness and the joy of true contentment. XO