I posted this on my personal blog yesterday an hour before learning that one of the women that I photographed, who was Ms. Febraury 2011 for the Beyond Boobs Breast Cancer Awareness Calendar, had passed away earlier in the day……She was only 29. She makes the 5th women with Beyond Boobs that I have photographed to have passed away from breast cancer. 1 had two very small kids, another had 3 young children under 10, one had just recently met and married the love of her life in her late 40s. It is just heartbreaking.
I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer or morbid in my thinking or really know where my thoughts are going, so hear me out…. but I’m always behind the camera. I get great images of my beautiful little girl but none of us together. I may hate and be self conscious about my crooked teeth and the current sleep deprived bags under my eyes but I do seek to get shots of her and I. Ones that she will have to remember us by and hopefully be filled in knowing just how much her mother loves her by looking at them. Even if it is posed and I have to set up the shot, these will be the images that she will one day be left with.
Last week we took pictures with Maya. It was fun and she’s still little but for some reason it crossed my mind that if I were to die tomorrow, she would not remember me. Not at all. What if these are our last pictures together? And then yesterday I read this post by my Doula Shannon to her Tiny Women and pretty much lost it…..
It saddens me when some clients don’t want to be photographed with their baby or kids during a session. After working so much with Beyond Boobs and St. Baldricks, I just want to yell at them – “Life is short! Be involved! Take pictures!” Who cares if you think you’re over weight or didn’t do your makeup that day. Because really, when we are gone, that’s all that is left of us for our loved ones to look back on and remember. I always want to direct them to this beautiful piece of when is there a perfect time?
I do hope to die at a very ripe old age but I have dealt with enough reality to know nothing is guaranteed, hence why my life insurance and retirement policies make sure she is taken care of. (Soap box – make sure you have these things. There is nothing more important than investing in your child’s future and making sure they are taken care of. Nothing.)
My thoughts and love are along the same lines as Shannon’s thoughts to her tiny women as I have so much to teach and share with Maya. I want her to have memories of her mama not caring about the mess she made while painting but encouraged her creativity and always allowed her to express her individuality. Memories of going places and exploring the world around her. Traveling and experiencing different cultures. To always remember her mama on the sidelines encouraging her to try, give it her best and to follow through with her ideas and activities she’s involved in. And how will she know my side of the story when I was growing up, if I’m not here to tell her it. Who’s going to teach her to respect and value her mind and body.
Maya is the single most important thing in my life. Everything else is a far second. I thought my life was great before but it is even greater ten-folds with her in it.
Some images her daddy took of her and I the other day……