Hi Everyone, this is Richard’s DW /BFF. I have been thinking about what I could do for Richard today on his last post for this leg of his 365 journey, but all that has come to my mind is the thought that I should let you know just how much this project has meant to him, and how much it has affected our family. The advantage of having access to the back-end of this blog makes it easy for me to do this without him knowing — I love surprises!
A little over a year ago, Richard started kicking around the idea of doing this project… he was seeking for a meaningful expression of his art, and after a late night 2am viewing of Julia & Julia (gotta love Netflix streaming), the genesis of the idea came together. After about two months of hearing about it, I finally said to him, “Just pick a date and do it!” He picked the date, but that date ultimately found him on the East Coast, second guessing, wavering… but thanks to his flight home with a random, classic sitcom traveling companion, he made the leap and began his journey.
I will say that had I known (had either of us known), just how much of a sacrifice this project was going to take, I don’t think I would have pushed him to get going on it. I think that is one of God’s true blessings to us — not always showing us just what the journey is going to entail, for if He did, we would never embark… but having embarked, we cannot turn back and despite the challenges that come our way, we come to the end and look back at the journey with gratitude for the experiences and growth that are now forever ours.
I have not had the pleasure of meeting all the people that Richard has had the opportunity to meet — and yes, how did he put it?…I am a little more skeptical about walking up to total strangers and striking up a conversation… and asking them searching questions…and requesting that I take their photo…and post it on my blog… Richard is truly amazing to me. I don’t have his gift for doing what he can do, however, I do believe in Richard’s quest.
Richard has always looked for the good in people — sometimes, almost to a fault (thus we are getting hounded by telephone sales people these days because he could not help striking up a friendly conversation with one of the callers. Did you know Richard used to work telephone sales in the 80s… wait for it…. selling… wait for it… nail polish and lipstick — over the phone! No wonder he has a soft spot for telemarkers).
All kidding aside, Richard has always had a kind heart and this project has helped him take that love and belief in his fellowman, meld it with his talent as a photographer and allow him to create a meaningful expression of what he feels and sees.
Although Richard has been on the front lines of this project, the blessings have extended over all of us in our little family.Yes, I have been a cheerleader for him and pushed him on days that he was less than enthusiastic about getting out there, but I am no angel — he is too nice to tell you about the days that I would have won the Grouchy-Complaining-I Wish You Did Not Have to Go Out and Meet Someone Today-Aren’t You Finished Writing That Award, and for that I am truly sorry :-( But despite my sometimes less-than-perfect attitude, I have always believed in Richard and his vision of 365.
I have always believed that everyone is born with a light, a goodness within them. For many that light glows bright, but for many, sometimes because of choices, or life, or circumstances or whatever, that light can get a little dim, perhaps almost gone. For many, having someone just notice their light helps their light to grow. That is what 365 is about, at least for me — slowing down a little and taking the time to look for and nurture the light –in both ourselves and our fellowman.
So thank you, Sweetheart, for embarking on the journey, for taking us with you and for your amazing example of not giving up. We are with you wherever Operation 365 may go. You are a light for us.
Terri and your DD
PS: Oh, and by the way, that comment in your last post… “I can also carry an unintended aura of arrogance. Most of my friends don’t see it…” I had to smile as I read that — your friends prefer to use the term “control freak,” never say it in front of you, usually accompany their comments with a smile and an eye roll… and we all love you still.