It's sports season!

Happy September! The first photo is proof that I can make even the meanest looking high school football player smile. The second is from the first football game I shot this season. (Actually, it's the second game I shot. The first game lasted only 10 minutes until the electricity went out and it was canceled.)

The third shot was the first time I've ever seen a high school soccer game get really close to fisticuffs. And wouldn't you know the next day I shot a game where the SAME THING happened. The shot with the goalie is actually the play that angered the two players in the background into pushing each other and earning themselves a yellow card.

The last shot I just had come across when I was driving between assignments. I was driving down Route 8 when suddenly the light traffic that was on the road slowed down and I noticed a line of cars were pulled over on the side of the road, but I didn't see any police lights. The people who had pulled over were standing on the side of the road looking at something in between the two lanes, and when I drove by them I saw that it was some sort of feline. It turned out to be a bobcat, something I had never seen before. What I didn't mention in the caption is that the guy who dragged the bobcat out of the road also said he was an avid hunter and usually has a gun in the car with him, and he said he wished he did that day to put the poor animal out of its misery. I don't think I could have stayed for that. In fact, I left before any state troopers came by partly because I had to go to my next assignment and partly because I didn't want to be there to see it happen. Well, I probably wouldn't have been there anyway because the troopers would have yelled at me like they do so well.


on grief.

I remember when I was a kid, about 8 years old, being amazed that I only saw one tear fall from my father's eye when his father died. I was fascinated that he wasn't bawling in absolute grief like I imagined I would if I was in the same situation.

But now I know that when you're a grown-up, it's not as easy to let your emotions take over you like when you were a kid. That no matter what happens, the sun will still rise, the earth still turns, the day wears on, and life continues. People depend on you to get up out of bed and march on. Your already previously scheduled activities don't allow time for grief or contemplation.

I've thought about that a lot since Marie died. I wrote a remembrance article that published the same day as her obituary, and writing it came so easily that I didn't even shed a tear. But the next day, when I read the article in print, next to the picture of her sitting in Lake Iroquois, titled with a headline that read something like "Days after celebrating life, cancer victim loses battle," it suddenly became real. I had just about five minutes to pause and stare at the paper until I had to be on my way to an assignment.

Even though reading the article in the paper makes me cry, I find so much solace in it.. but I still wrestle with accepting the reality. And I find that the most emotional times come at the most unpredictable. I can't even count how many times I've cried in a company car on Route 8 now. But little by little I'm finding the time.

If anyone is wondering if I took any photos since her death, of the family mourning, of any of the pleasantries that come with burial, I haven't. The death was sudden, out of state, the family is scattered, her body was cremated, and the story wasn't even about her death anyway. It's about her life. She lived it until the very end.

Here is the article:

Three and a half years after being diagnosed with lung cancer and told she had just six months to live, Marie Tyrrell celebrated her 63rd birthday Monday on the shores of Rhode Island, later telling her two daughters, Tracie Marcil and Marcie Keller, that it was the best day of her life.

On Wednesday, in the company of close relatives, and after years of beating the odds against her cancer, Marie Tyrrell died at Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island.

Tyrrell was the subject of two articles and photo documentaries in the Republican-American for her resilience and optimism in the face of her terminal illness. The former activities director for the Oxford Senior Center, Tyrrell, who always said, "Life is what happens when you're making plans," planned for everything once she was diagnosed, believing that if she just kept striving to meet her plans, she would buy more time to survive. Tyrrell planned ahead of time so well that just after her death, when her relatives searched her belongings for a pink velour jumpsuit she wished to be cremated in, they found it in the bag that she took with her for the weekend visit to Rhode Island.

Tyrrell's spirited enthusiasm also inspired other cancer survivors, many of whom she became friends with over conversations during chemotherapy treatments.

"My mom was given cancer for a reason, so she would become my best friend and inspire people. Truly, she inspired people. I think this was her purpose in life. She lived her life to the fullest and I know she left with no regrets," said Marcil.

Besides her daughters, Tyrrell leaves her husband of 26 years, Paul Tyrrell, and granddaughter Mysti Keller.

A memorial service in celebration of Marie Tyrrell's life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. at St. George's Church in Middlebury.