I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened and why, but a friend of mine passed this weekend. I got a call Sunday night from one of her friends who I know from the rock climbing wall in Mankato. I didn’t know how to react, and I was in a state of shock until later that night. After that phone call, I raced home and started searching for the negatives I had of Abigail, the ones I had taken almost four years ago.
I don’t remember how exactly I met Abigail, but I know we both shared a passion for photography and rock climbing. She was bubbly and always smiling, and it was contagious. She became one of my better friends that year. We spent a lot of time together, whether it was rock climbing, hiking, photography, or just hanging out at her apartment listening to music. When I started my film class in the spring semester, Abigail was absolutely ecstatic to help.
On one of the many dreary spring mornings we had that year, I headed over to Abigail’s apartment to hang out with her and her roommate Brooke. My assignment that week for my photography class was to shoot portraits, so Brooke and Abigail became my subjects for the day. I pulled out my brand new light reflector and started bouncing light around like any photographer with a new tool would. I moved them all around the living room, which had nice white walls and an open window, essentially acting as one giant light reflector.
Abigail wasn’t very good at acting serious, but at the time that’s what I wanted to photograph. She dealt with my requests and gave me her all the entire time. I photographed her and Brooke for maybe 30 minutes, or as long as it took to finish the roll of film. After I got done shooting, and since it was still morning, Abigail wanted to do her thing and make some coffee. I don’t know where she got the idea from, but she heard about turkish coffee readings. Turkish coffee is very finely ground, so when you finish drinking it, all of the grounds are left on the bottom.
The method (from what I remember) goes like this: drink the coffee in one go, and flip the cup upside down on the plate. Let it sit for a few minutes so the grounds have time to settle. Different patterns and shapes carry different meaning. After my coffee sat for a bit, Abigail flipped it over and gave me the news. (Sorry for the proceeding picture as I took it with my phone over 3 years ago)
Abigail saw the creature that had formed, and described it as a demon that was haunting my life. At that point in time, I was drowning in my depression, and knew exactly what that demon represented. Abigail asked if I knew what it could be, and I told her I had a couple things in mind. We hung out for a couple more hours, I said my good byes and headed home with a lot to think about.
Abigail was the first catalyst in me getting help with my depression. I think I told her later that night about it. I truly do not know where I would be without having met Abigail. She was an incredibly positive influence in my life, and I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to know her. I’m especially grateful to have these pictures of her. They bring a lot of emotion to the surface, and help me remember that day and the others that followed.
So I’ll end this emotional roller coaster of a post by saying this: Please take pictures of the ones close to you; friends, family, whoever, just take photos of them. The more time that passes, the more meaning they start to carry. Holding the negatives with Abigail on them brought me a weird happiness, but one I’ll hold onto for a while.
Abigail, thank you for being in my life, I’m going to miss you a lot.