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I take a lot of pictures and videos.

One thing that I’ve come to realize, is that each day that goes by, it takes longer and longer for me to scroll back in my pictures to the last day that you were here.

Now of course I have made a folder that has all my favorites, the videos, and the best pictures that really captured your smile and the joy on your face. The picture we used for your funeral. The picture we posted on your obituary. The picture I printed to put next to my bed.

But it’s scrolling back to the actual day I took them where I find the ”real” Johnathan pictures.

I will take 20 pictures of the same moment and only one gets put into the favorites folder. It‘s the other 19 that show real life. The imperfections, the blurry hand because he wanted to reach up for my phone, or his tongue sticking out as he yelled “cheese” once he realized I was taking a picture. Scrolling back to those connects me to all of him, not just the picture perfect moments.

It‘s starting to take too long.

What used to be just a quick swipe of the thumb is now a good 20 swipes. I’ll stare at the screen as the pictures blur into colors of familiar memories. The patches of blue that’s definitely the most recent walks outside with Merica, then back to white snow from the storms of February, finally red which lets me know I’m close to the funeral and all the red fireman hats, truck, and Elmo pictures.

I flip through those quick and get to the blue. The blue and green lights of the Christmas lights at the Greensboro Science Center. Our last trip as a family. The night before our nightmare began. Johnathan running with Michael through a tunnel of sparkling lights. I take a deep breath knowing that I’m back to when he was here.

There is this invisible line between when we was here and when he was gone.

It’s getting longer and longer to get to that line. I worry for the day when my phone storage won’t have enough to hold the past. I’ll have to find another way to keep him close. They‘re in the cloud, but little by little, I see them floating away in that cloud, further out of my reach.

I‘m so grateful I have over 23,000 photos on my phone. They help me remember all the amazing things we did with Johnathan. But with each passing day, I’m adding more pictures to after that line that designates he’s gone.

I wish time would have stopped that night at the Christmas lights and like all the pictures I take, we could be frozen in time, together.

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