Tag Archives: pictures

Five Years And A Thousand Words

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My own personal D-Day…

Today, June 6, 2017, is the 5th anniversary of my weight loss surgery.  I kept a blog chronicling my journey from the initial consultation with my surgeon on October 25, 2011, through the 2-year anniversary of the surgery itself, writing the final post on June 6, 2014.  Those stories, trials and tribulations still live in Cyberspace at:

http://www.incredibleshrinkingdiva.blogspot.com

I hope people still stumble across that blog and gain some insight, inspiration, information and humor from it.  For numerous reasons, I did not include photographs in that blog.  It just was not part of the journey I felt like sharing at the time.  However, I admit there is truth in the adage that, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  So on this, my 5-year-Surg-I-Versary, I am posting some before-and-after pictures…with some caveats.

I have bounced back from my lowest weight, more than I would like.  And I am working on shaving some of those pounds away.  It is a lifelong journey and my weight will always be something of a struggle.  That is all part and parcel of this process.  Even with my bounceback, I am profoundly grateful that I am not where I started.  I am stronger and healthier than before surgery and I am free from the hip and ankle pain that drove me to pursue surgical intervention after having exhausted every other means available to me.  Weight loss surgery is a true last resort and should only be considered when all other measures have failed.  Knowing all that I know now, I would make the same decision.  For me, it was what I needed, when I needed it.

So, here are some pictures.

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With my longtime friend Mary K. Briggs, April 2010 and March 2017

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With my husband, Sweet Pea aka Jeff Cutshaw, August 2010 and April 2016

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With friend and singing partner Marc Hampton, November 2011 and April 2017

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With mentor in music and weight loss Eric Thorson, November 2010 and December 2017

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With Delta Omicron sisters and friends Allison Hendrix and Ann Jones, July 2009 and July 2015

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Me.  Just plain old me.  July 2009 and April 2017.

I’m not where I want to be, but thanks be to God, I’m not where I used to be.  Life is good and I’m healthy.  I am blessed and greatly loved.  I am thankful.

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Restored…And Re-Storied

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Old things new…

A few years ago I started a family heritage scrapbook thinking it would be a nice way to spend a little free time and organize some of the old pictures I had gathered over the years.  Little did I know what a consuming project it would become!  I am convinced now that it will never be finished in my lifetime because I keep finding or thinking of things I want to add to it.  Some younger cousin will likely inherit this book and all the stuff in it.

My scrapbook contains lots of pictures, of course.  But there is also a lot of journaling (scrapbook-ese for little blocks of writing that explain the photographs, tell stories, provide captions, etc.).  It probably breaks lots of rules for me to add as much journaling as I do, but it’s my book, at least for as long as I live, so I can make it how I want it!  Plus, this book is becoming a sort of archive for family moments and memories.

Every picture tells a story.  But over the years, the pictures begin to fade, and memories become dim.  It is so important to document events while we have the chance.

Mama was wonderful about always writing the dates on the backs of pictures.  I wish I had picked up that habit long ago, because now I find myself wondering, “When did we take this?”  and “What was the occasion?”.  More frustrating is the fact that many of the really, REALLY old pictures have no writing on them to tell when they were made or who the people were.  (At least with digital photography, there is usually a date and time stamp on the pictures we take now, along with other information like the camera model used.)  It’s no wonder services that trace family genealogies are becoming so popular.  I think we all want to know the stories of where we came from.

I have also been able, through the wonders of modern technology, to clean up and restore some of the older photographs.  Computers and picture editing software can sometimes produce near-miraculous results in making pictures look better.  Lots more old pictures are waiting to have the magic wand of restoration waved over them so they can be viewed and enjoyed by future generations.

But for me, the pictures are only half of the equation.  The stories are what make the pictures come to life.  And usually, one story sparks a memory and another story, and then another…and before we know it, a loved one long gone lives again through the telling, and a young person gets to know someone they never had the chance to meet.

This is part of the legacy I hope to leave behind.  The pictures restored, and the stories…re-storied.

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(This may be the first picture of our family together after I was born in May of 1964.  The date stamp on the side reads Jul-64.  This is outside South Knoxville Baptist Church, where my parents were members.  I was able to restore it using photo editing software and I have to admit, I was pleased with the results.)