This is George...We met in England
Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 09:00PM
Cheryl Crotty

Moving through life we all have days when we walk into the world not knowing exactly where we are going or how we are going to get there.  Along the way we cross paths with many people and sometimes small furry things.
Not always having been treated with kindness myself,  I have, over the years tried my best to be Kind to all living things.   Not to say that I have always been successful in that endeavor but more and more as I age I realized that Kindness really matters.   You never know how your words,  actions and deeds can affect someone or even something.   So it’s always important to try your best.
When I started taking photographs,   I kept that thought in mind.   I would take what pleased me,  hoping in some way that an image,  when seen by another,  would strike a feeling in them of joy or peace.   Maybe a bit of nostalgia.   Whatever.   The main thing is I always wanted to express the good and the beauty in what I was shooting.  Through the lens I have been blessed with so much beauty that for years I had not noticed.    Over the years many people have commented on my good work and some have even honored me with purchasing some of my prints.   And each time there was the story of what that particular image did for them.     It always tickled me when a purchase was made and I felt like a kid in a candy shop just thinking that “they liked my work”.   Maybe I was getting to  where I wanted to go.   Hopefully I was making a difference in someone’s life.  
The other day I got a letter from England...I thought it was from a friend that I have there.   It wasn’t.   It was a letter that set my heart to fluttering.   A letter that I will keep forever.   It was a note to me from a lady that I had meet in 2001.   We had stayed at her Bed and Breakfast,  The May Cottage, in Thruxton England that June.   My Mom had died in Feb.  and my brother the year before.   When you are grieving, England is a wonderful retreat.  Such beauty abounds,  especially in this tiny,  thatched roof village.  Straight out of a Dickens novel.
So this is where I meet George,  the family cat.   Usually I am not a cat person but George had a way of presenting himself that was hard to resist.   I think he had a very high opinion of himself and thought that everyone should not only tolerate him but love him.   He would come to our room each day  and sit on the window sill.   Quite nice window sills in the cottage,  perfect for cat sitting.   It was raining on this particular day and George decided to come and stay with us.   So as he sat in the window,  being all Princely,   I took his photo.   He was very pretty,  orange in color,  with big green eyes and such a straight back.   He sat straight up,   just as all Royals do.   He posed for me better than most people would.   So when I returned home, I had the film developed and their was George,  sassy as could be.   I sent a thank you  to our host for such a wonderful stay at the B&B and then I included a photo of George.  Not long after that note went out I got a call from Fiona, George’s owner,  telling me how much she loved George’s photo.   It was the best she had ever seen of him and of course I was  just thrilled to bits with the compliment.   
Well, I thought,  that’s really  nice and stored that memory away..  Ten years later. through the Royal Post,  another letter comes and it goes like this:
Dear Cheryl,
You may remember that you stayed with us in June of 2001.  You took, and sent to us,  the most wonderful photo of George,  our ginger tom cat.  
Sadly he joined his feline cousins in the sky last July aged almost 15 years.  We have had a commemorative oak plaque made up, with the image from your photo etched into the wood.  He is resting in a sunny corner of our back yard where he keeps a beady on the feathered and human population alike!!!
We have always treasured that photograph and wanted to let you know. 
She goes on with news of her husband who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s but yet in her trying times she takes a moment to remember me and my photo and then she writes me.    In the end,  she says they would love it if I could drop them an email with our news if we have a spare moment.  
To say I was surprised by my letter is an understatement. To not only have someone remember me from 10 years ago, but to also be moved and to  love my photo enough to have it engraved on a plaque for  eternity in memory of their beloved cat just makes me so humble.   It also reaffirms for me that Kindness really does matter.    A simple photo on a rainy day made a lasting and loving impressive on this kitty’s parents.    
There is a saying that goes like this..”.people won’t always remember what you say but they will always  remember how you made them feel.”   In return you always get back way more than you gave.
So my friends,   when you go out on your own path,  try in every word,  jester, smile, hug and deed,  to make someone feel special.   That’s really all any of us need or want.   Just to be validated.
In the meantime,   I’ll just keep taking photo’s of all the beauty that surrounds me each day.   Maybe the next capture will win me a spot in National Geographic.   
Love what you do and do what you love.....Blessings and Happy Easter.


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