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The holiday season is always hard on me; my mother died 15 years ago in December.

As the years pass by, each holiday season gets a little easier, but the memory of her passing is always there.

My mom was a wonderful person and parent, a friend and a great sounding board. I miss her terribly.

Now, though, I try to take the holiday season as a reminder to be thankful for my family: my wife, my son, my brothers and sisters, and my father. I have awesome aunts and uncles and a tremendous roster of cousins, all of whom I love dearly.

I took the above photo in Rawlins, Wyo., two years ago during the holiday season. I was driving around, looking for what we call "wild art" to put in the newspaper. I was drawn to a cemetery. Someone took a lot of time to decorate this headstone. Its simple beauty made me think of my mother. It's become one of my favorite holiday photos.

And speaking of holiday photos, what makes a good one? I think it's personal. Pets, babies, family portraits, whatever brings the best emotion out in you.

You still have time to enter our holiday photo contest with a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Torin Bales. Don't wait -- enter now.

In memory of Josephine A. Pacheco (July 31, 1936 to Dec. 12, 1998).

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