Ralph In New Zealand
Ralph Edwards was a man who lived life to the fullest. He had traveled the globe, yet he still loved to spend time at home with his family and friends. He died in September 2007 from pancreatic cancer, after fighting that horrible disease against all odds for over 2 years. Enough cannot be said of the spirit, determination and class he demonstrated during those many months of pain and suffering. The same is true of his family. His son Ryan, 15, spent his early teenage years in a way no teenager should, watching his father fight and ultimately lose to a relentless foe. He devoted constant time and affection to his dad throughout. And Ralph's extraordinary wife, Mary Jo, spent those two years doing whatever it took to comfort him, being a parent, maintaining the household and continuing with life. Never, during those two years, did I hear her complain once. Her devotion is nothing short of remarkable.

This page is dedicated to Ralph and his family. The link below takes you to an 8-minute sample of Ralph's exemplary nature photography. The poem at the bottom of this page was written by Mary Jo's brother. It is very fitting and very moving. We have lost a good friend, as well as the countless other photos Ralph surely had in him. But meanwhile, we are grateful for the images he did capture, as they are his treasured legacy to us, and a reminder that it truly IS important to stop and smell the flowers.

"Ralph"
by Wayland Eheart

He stands behind the camera, watching, waiting
"What's he waiting for?" we think
Suddenly, he moves.
Click.
We, the less patient, we're constantly moving.
Click, Click, Click, Click

Later, we view the photographs
Ours, pretty
Ralph's, stunning

Our time on this planet
Our time to see, to photograph
Our time with our shutter open
Our exposure time
Our exposure time longer
Click, Click, Click, Click
Ralph's exposure time
Too short, too short, too short.
We, like he, wanted it longer.
Wanted to see more photographs.
Wanted to continue to experience his quiet
gentle wit.
Avuncular Uncle Ralph
But, just as the muse told him when to press the shutter
An inexorable external force closed his shutter on life
Click.

Please consider giving, on Ralph's behalf, to one of the following nonprofit organizations,
both of which provide personal inspiration, timely information,
and public awareness regarding this uniquely challenging disease:
http://pancreatica.org/
http://pancan.org/

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