(Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward) Paying it Forward

Baxter Pano

Baxter State Park (c) Jim Glennon 2010

Onward.  Upward.  Forward.

Or, in the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear, “To infinity and beyond.”

One photograph immediately came to mind to embody the word “forward,” in a literal way.  My husband Jim took this picture while hiking in a mountain range with new friends during his final months:


I love the angles and wide sweep of this picture.  Jim’s companion–and his shadow–is not simply pointing forward along a hiking trail, but into a vast bright blue beyond.

Jim took this picture at a time when he was exhausted from chemotherapy with little chance of beating back his recently discovered pancreatic tumor, but it expresses no weariness.  It is full of color and movement and, to me, hope.  It is a picture that expresses Jim’s love of the world, and his faith in life going forward with whatever circumstances are dealt to the people whose shadows will flicker and disappear  among the mountains.


No single person can conquer the cyberworld’s  vast body of information–real, imagined, fictional, nutty, spiritual (or some combination thereof).  But a collection of friends can cull gems from it and pass them along, paying it forward.

(I may be the Queen of Payback after someone I love has been wronged, but Jim lived a life of paying it forward.)

It happens that I picked up one of these gems this morning, courtesy of the very same gentleman who is pointing forward in this picture that I was about to write about.  He shared a quote from a widow: “When my husband was dying, I said: ‘Moe, how am I supposed to live without you?’ He told me: ‘Take the love you have for me and spread it around.'”

What could be a better way to honor someone you love?

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
This entry was posted in Love and Loss and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to (Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward) Paying it Forward

  1. Paula says:

    Stephanie, I am touched with this post, and I admire your courage and strength. Wishing you well.

  2. Gary Cameron says:

    Steph, as you know I go to Baxter at least once a year, and that trip with Jim is one of the best trips we’ve ever had. Jim’s peach cobbler is now a favorite, he’ll always be a part of our annual trip.

  3. This is such a tender beautifully written post, and I love the quote at the end. That’s one to remember, and pass around. Jim sounds like an amazing man, living his life fully right up till the end. You must miss him so much.

  4. Deepa says:

    This is such a lovely and meaningful interpretation. What a lot you have been through, and I wish you the best looking forward.

  5. My Tropical Home says:

    That was beautiful! Cancer is no stranger to my family, though I have been spared of it myself. I shall always remember the words you quoted, ‘Take the love you have for me and spread it around.’”

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. A pleasure to have met you 🙂


  6. WM says:

    A great, touching post. Thank you, Stephanie.

  7. Such a beautiful response to this week’s challenge — the best kind of forward is paying it forward! ~ Kat

  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward | Flickr Comments

  9. sued51 says:

    Stephanie, what a wonderful and unique take on the challenge. I love the photo of Jim too!

  10. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward | paul dear photography

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  12. Pingback: (Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details) Devil in the Details | Love in the Spaces

  13. Tina Schell says:

    Wow, what a beautiful tribute. Your post lets us know that not only was your husband very special, but you are too. My sympathies on your loss and my compliments on your strength.

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