My photos of mom always seem to capture comments about her spirit, her smile and her happiness.

But life is not always like that. As with anyone, mom has her ups and downs. And while I usually don’t photograph her downs, I did shoot this last week and thought it was worth sharing.

It was a quick snap from the iPad one afternoon in Planet Perk. Between forced smiles and laughs, mom had things on her mind. We had sold her car. She agreed to it. It had been in storage since November, and I took her everywhere she wanted to go. But……it was sold. Gone. And so was the freedom the car had represented to her. Even if she hadn’t driven in months. Even if it was a physical challenge for her to walk from her apartment to her car. Even if she knew she didn’t want to drive in Oshkosh with it’s new round -a-bouts…it still represented freedom to her. And now it was gone.I know I lament each small step in getting older. Sometimes it’s realizing I can actually forget something; sometimes it’s realizing my reactions are getting slower. Each of us have our own personal ways of getting smacked in the face by the reality of what getting older takes away from us. But the biggest whack might just be the loss of freedom when you can’t drive anymore. We can’t go to the store when we want groceries. We can’t just take a drive. We are dependant on someone.So this photo is now a reminder to me that at a significant moment like this in someone’s journey, the best thing to say is not say anything at all. Don’t give a list of all the practical reasons why this makes sense. Just be there. And maybe just take that person for a ride for no reason at all…just so they can feel the wind in their face…and a hint of freedom.  (Originally posted June 24, 2012)

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