Once again I’m reminded of the power of photographs and music. I’m sitting in my studio listening to Adele’s new song “Remedy” while working (dammit, Adele and your new 25 album!). A client requested a photo from years ago and I was looking through the archives on my external hard drive. And I found this photo…and it stopped me dead in my tracks.
I took this photo on my phone in 2010 quickly as I was leaving to go visit my godmother in the hospital. A day that wound up being the very last time I got to see her. I remember this photo like it was yesterday. The kids knew I was going to visit her and that she was very sick and had cancer. I struggled with having to explain life and death to three young kids but knew deep down inside that it was inevitable that death would touch them.
Although when I found this photo today, it brought me back to the phone call I had with her when I found out that she had cancer. We had spoke on the phone about why we are tested and given the burdens we are given in life. She was crying, she admitted to me that she was scared. It was one of those conversations where you tried to offer a glimmer of hope, but just knew what was unfortunately close to the end. Yet all through that, she was at peace with her fate.
While that visit at the hospital with her was not exactly how I wanted to remember her, as that memory is forever scarred in my mind, I have to believe the love she had and displayed through her pain was the real message of that visit. Yet, this picture stands out in an indirect way, I remember her asking how the kids were and I showed her this exact photo to her, and the smile she had on her face when I did so. It was a ray of sunshine for her.
No doubt her and my godfather have shaped me into the person I have become. I have countless memories of them. And by the way, I knew them both as Aunt Judi and Uncle Gary, they were those friends of my parents that were so close that you just had call them “aunt & uncle”. Their names deserve recognition and more so- a dedication, a special honor, as it was all of that and more to have had them in my life. It is ironic how raw this feels so many years later…I suppose grieving never truly ends.
Holiday times tend to be tough for those that are missing close friends and family. But I’m a firm believer that they strengthen us when we feel the weakest. And in this very moment, I’d like to believe they are angels reminding me to slow down and smile.
You may ask, how and why this is significant for a professional photographer posting on her blog a photo from her cell phone... but it’s the message that feels so very real to me that I needed to send a friendly reminder to capture life any which way you can. Slow down for a few, document it, embrace it, find those moments, you’ll be thankful to find that it may very well be a gem in times to come. Please take pictures. Lots of them. Because it is this exact reason why it’s so very important.
When the pain cuts you deep | When the night keeps you from sleeping | Just look and you will see | That I will be your remedy | -Adele