jo ann manolis photography

Welcome to the blog of Jo Ann Manolis Photography! I’m a wedding, portrait, and fine art photographer based in Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve created this blog as a means of sharing my work and life with my clients, family, and friends. I’ll be updating it regularly with my latest work, thoughts and ideas regarding photography and art, and links to many fabulous artists and vendors. So, take a look around, enjoy, and leave me a message here if you’re inspired. I can also be reached directly by e-mail via my website:, or by phone at: (831)359-7948. Thanks for stopping by!

room 157

So I don’t know exactly how to write about it,  but I can’t pretend that it didn’t happen either…

My dad died last Saturday. At 4:10 AM in room 157 at Hospice.

I’ll never forget that room.

It had large glass doors that opened up to the most unbelievable garden. At least I imagine that it was unbelievable because it was even beautiful covered in snow. Three cardinals were flying around outside and although he couldn’t see them, my dad was tickled that they were out there. I hadn’t seen a cardinal in years.

I hate the way that time just keeps ripping by with no regard to whether or not we could use a little (or a lot) more of it with someone.  I tried to make it a good send off, he deserved it.  We talked about the good times…fishing in the neighbors’ lake, our walks together in Greece, him dancing on a chair at my wedding, childhood pets, and mom of course. Funny what stands out when you’re presented with a mental slide show of your life in a time like this.

I could see the lightning bugs in our front yard and smell the wet grass like it was yesterday.

The nurse on duty from 7 to 7 was named Joyce. Joyce was my mom’s name. I knew something big would take place during those 12 hours, so I stayed close.

It was an honor, a privilege, an education for me. I got to see something real. Real.

At the end of the day, I could probably count the images that really matter on one hand.


12 responses to “room 157

  1. nicolerigets January 22, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Hi jo ann,

    The beautiful thing about blogs and photography is their transcendent link that allows us to share life’s fleeting moments with each other.

    Sorry to hear the news about your Dad.
    Nicole Rigets

  2. Olivia January 22, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Jo Ann so sorry to hear about your loss, I am holding your family in the light today. I’m sure you have noticed, but there is a striking resemblance between him and your son…he will live on through you and your family….

  3. joannmanolisphotography January 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you so much, Olivia. Much Love, Jo Ann

  4. Fiona Andersen January 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Jo Ann

    I have just discovered your art and just wanted to say how beautiful everything is. I am sorry to hear about your dad. You write with such magic, he must have been so proud. xx

  5. Cayce Ellison January 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    okay, should have just left you a message on here. would have been much easier (on you too! so sorry for my message!). just wanted to say i was thinking of you. and yes, he must be so proud of you jo ann! you are such a gift to us all.

  6. joannmanolisphotography January 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Dear Sweet Cayce,

    No, I actually LOVED your message. It menat so much to me…Thank you. I will be back in Santa Cruz on the 3rd and will be in touch soon after that. Miss and Love you, my friend… xo

  7. Scott Williams February 4, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Such a beautiful picture. In my mind Dino is whispering a secret to his Grandfather. The beauty and grace of children and the elderly…holding the secret that love is all that matters. The child holding us with innocence and curiosity. Elders understanding the only meaningful regrets are not loving enough.

    Jo, Amy and I are terribly sorry. But we know your grace, love, and openness will be the guiding light to healing. We would love to see you guys soon.

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