Thumbs Up

Uploaded: September 11, 2012 03:11:25


This past weekend, Bill and I drove to Tennessee to say our final "goodbyes" to his very close friend who is in the end stage of her battle with A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
It was a wonderful reunion for them; She can see, hear, and has limited use of her hands, but is otherwise immobile. Her brilliant mind is still vibrant.. She can write her thoughts (miraculously) very slowly and deliberately and she can sign (American Sign Language) with her fingers to express her thoughts to those to whom she has taught the alphabetic signs.
One of the first things she wrote to us during our visit was, "I am locked in!"

Here she gives a thumbs up to another very close friend who was also visiting.
During the two days that we were in Tennessee, Bill and she embraced, cried, laughed, and reminisced about their twenty-plus year friendship. Being there was indescribably moving for me.

Exif: F Number: 4, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 1/160 seconds, Flash: did not fire, compulsory flash mode, ISO: 6400, White balance: Auto white balance, FocalLength: 70.00 mm, Model: Canon EOS 7D


Danny B. Head September 11, 2012

Very touching! #1485726

Carolyn M. Fletcher level-classic September 11, 2012

So sad. It's a nasty disease. Love the photo. #10317815

Antonio Amen September 11, 2012

Nice shot. #10317820

Gord MacEachern September 11, 2012

Sad story Michelle, sickness and death are always so hard. Your image says so much! #10317821

Jack Gaskin September 11, 2012

A nice tribute

Jack #10317869

Karen E. Michaels level-deluxe September 11, 2012

Touching tribute, indeed. #10317908

Alan L. Borror September 11, 2012

Lovely and sad at the same time! #10317941

R. J. Laudenbacher level-classic September 11, 2012

Such an emotional capture with a very touching story behind it, Michelle. #10317968

Steve D. Hinkle September 11, 2012

Michelle, very touching and sad, wishing her all the best. #10318001

Tammy M. Anderson level-deluxe September 11, 2012

Terrible disease for sure. Moving and emotional story. #10318007

Agnes Fegan level-deluxe September 11, 2012

A truly beautiful image and tribute Michelle. #10318011

Douglas Pignet September 11, 2012

lovely capture #10318047

Tiia Vissak September 11, 2012

a sad story, but a wonderful image! #10318079

Susan Williams September 11, 2012

A beautiful image and a beautiful story captured here, Michelle. #10318089

Lynn M. Whitt September 11, 2012

A beautiful and emotional capture. #10318101

Dayna Cain level-classic September 11, 2012

Her "thumbs up" gesture speaks volumes about her spirit, character and generosity. Excellent image Michelle. #10318129

Rony Sagy September 11, 2012

What a touching story telling capture, Michelle. #10318241

Marilyn Cornwell September 11, 2012

This image 'tells' the story - beautiful and moving! #10318265

David Hurt September 11, 2012

Touching shot. #10318319

Yulianto Soeroso September 11, 2012

interesting with that narration m and talk photo #10318398

Amanda J. Tanner level-classic September 11, 2012

Very Touching and Sad. I am glad she got to be with her friend again. My brother is in a nursing home battling with cancer. He cannot talk now and he lights up when friends stop by to see him. Your work here is wonderful and I am glad you shared it with us Michelle. #10318480

Jeffrey R. Bange September 11, 2012

Beautiful tribute Michelle to your husbands dear friend. #10318535

Neal D. Hatcher September 11, 2012

Beautiful and touching tribute-May that
we all can be thumbs up at that time
--------------"WELL DONE"------------ #10318541

Mike Clime September 11, 2012

Great tribute to her, Michelle! She has a positive attitude. #10318553

frank w. degenhardt September 11, 2012

Beautiful, touching, heartbreaking, so sad. To have your mind but no body, I feel pain at her being locked in. It was so moving to see her give the thumbs up to her friend. Beauty in message and look my friend. #10318565

Terry Cervi level-deluxe September 11, 2012

Beautiful but so sad at the same time. This is a wonderful tribute to her and your husband. #10318607

Lorraine A. Cook September 11, 2012

Oh...This is a beautiful moment you captured, Michelle! Thank You for sharing this touching image with us, My Friend!!

Last week, my next door neighbor was placed in a nursing facility. She endured cancer treatments over the past two years and there is no more doctors can do for her. The treatments affected her brain...


Anita Hogue September 11, 2012

Sad........but soooo beautiful!

(I live in Tennessee.....I am truly touched. We live about 2 hours SE of Nashville!} #10318864

Barbara Waldoch September 11, 2012

Sad and beautiful... #10318865

Randy D. Dinkins level-classic September 11, 2012

Beautiful photo and very moving caption!! Visitations such as this, always toug;, wishing all well. #10318904

Ann Coates level-classic September 11, 2012

Wow, what a moving capture this is Michelle and so very sad. #10319084

Deborah C. Lewinson level-addict September 11, 2012

Thanks for sharing, Michelle, she has a valiant spirit!

Debby #10319093

Rona L. Schwarz September 11, 2012

A very moving capture, Michelle, so sad but at the same time a marvelous testament to her spunk and perseverance, She sounds like quite a lady. A work colleague of mine died from ALS last year - a terrible disease. #10319153

Guy D. Biechele level-classic September 12, 2012

Touching and beautiful photograph. This artistic image says so much. #10319477

Emile Abbott level-classic September 12, 2012

Touching tribute Michelle. Well done. #10319867

Connie J. Bagot September 12, 2012

Beautiful and expressive image---I'm so sorry for your friend. #10319950

Teresa Moore September 12, 2012

A beautiful tribute to your friend. This story and photo touches my heart. #10320502

Kathy Reeves September 13, 2012

I am moved,and speechless, Michelle. #10321346

Karen Celella September 13, 2012

Very moving capture and story, Michelle! #10321562

Nancy L. Green level-classic September 13, 2012

AMAZING work Michelle, and your touching story makes this all the more beautiful!!! As a home health RN I have seen first hand this horrible cruel disease, I am so glad you got that last good by!! <>< #10321589

Ken Smith level-classic September 16, 2012

Superb story-telling, Michelle and she knows she's going to better place soon. Excellent job on this! #10324964

Michelle Alton September 16, 2012

For all of you who looked and commented on this photo, I would like you to know that unbeknownst to me, all of your remarks were read to Jan as he looked at this photo and held it to her chest. She wrote, "None of these people know me, yet they do!"

Jan passed this morning at around 6:30 Eastern time. You all contributed to the peace she had. #10325029

Lindley Johnson level-classic September 16, 2012

What a beautiful image, and a touching tribute to your husband's friend. #10325369

Philippe Vieux-Jeanton September 17, 2012

This is really beautiful... Touch me a lot, because my wife is actually on this stage. (Pancreatic cancer)
R.I.P Jan #10327198

Mike R. Howe September 18, 2012

Such a beautiful,poignant image,Michelle...I'm so sorry. #10328388

Patricia A. Casey level-deluxe September 19, 2012

Oh Michelle....this beautiful touching capture says it all. Hopefully we all have the same grace and dignity when this stage of life comes to us. I'm sorry for the pain and the loss, but celebrate that very long friendship for Bill and that connectedness.Thank you for sharing this very tender moment with us all... #10328996

To discuss, first log in or sign up (buttons are at top center of page).

Get Constructive Critiques

Sign up for an interactive online photography course to get critiques on your photos.


Did You Know?

Discussions by Category: You can view photo discussions on various themes in the Community > Photo Discussions section of the site.

BetterPhoto Websites: If you see an orange website link directly under the photographer's name, it's totally okay. It's not spam. The reason: BetterPhoto is the one that offers these personal photography websites. We are supporting our clients with those links.

Unavailable EXIF: If there is no other information but 'Unavailable' in the EXIF (meaning no EXIF data exists with the photo), the 'Unavailable' blurb is not displayed. If there is any info, it shows. Many photos have the EXIF stripped out when people modify the image and resave it, before uploading.


The following truth is one of the core philosophies of BetterPhoto:

I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.

You learn by doing. Take your next online photography class. Editor's Pick

Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Michelle Alton.
Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.
Log in to follow or message this photographer or report this photo.