February 9, 2015
I had originally planned on sharing me and Aubree’s Mommy + Me session today. We finally got a chance to take them after talking about it for an entire year and they make my heart so happy. I WILL share them later this week, I promise. I just felt like this was more important to write about today.
I’ve been following Kylie Elizabeth Rowand’s journey… she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 19 months and passed away this weekend, at 10:19am on Saturday morning. Every time I looked through the Instagram page (@prayersforkylie), I sobbed. I mean, cried until I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see, and just wanted to squeeze Aubree so hard. I could never imagine the pain this family is going through. Kylie’s mother… oh my gosh. The thought of what that woman is going through is gut wrenching. No parent should ever have to go through what they’ve gone through over the past 12+ months, nor should any child have to endure what that sweet baby endured. It’s a huge test of faith for me, but thats a whole other story.
I was looking at the hashtag on Instagram for Kylie (#prayersforkylie) and saw a few professional photo’s taken of Kylie and her mom. The same type of photo’s I was about to share this morning of me and my sweet girl. There weren’t many of them, but there were a few. It broke my heart and made me think thoughts like “what if those photo’s Aubree and I took together were the last professional shots we ever got to take together?” and it makes my entire body hurt all over. Tears streaming down my face at the thought.
…And then there’s this…
Maria hired me last year to take family photo’s for them. She emailed me (and I’m not even sure how she found my name out of the sea of photographers in Hampton Roads, but I am so overjoyed that she did) and told me their family was planning their ‘last vacation together’ and chose Virginia Beach to do so. The large family traveled from a few different states and all met here in VB! She explained in her email that her mother had terminal cancer and thats why it would be their last vacation together. This of course made me emotional and walking to the beach the day of the session to meet the family for the first time gave me the most immense butterflies I’ve ever had before a session. I thought I knew back then what this session meant.. at least I thought I did.
Yesterday I was enjoying a beautiful, sunny, rare 67 degree February day with my family at the beach (the same beach I shot Maria’s family session at). On the way home I decided to check emails on my iPhone and got the above email from Maria. I instantly broke out into tears. I knew Maria’s mother had terminal cancer… I knew what that meant… but I don’t think I’m capable of accepting it. Her email made me so sad. She has lost her mother and I can’t imagine that feeling. I wish I could hug her and give her my deepest condolences in person, but I can’t.
After reading the email and thinking about the passing of sweet Kylie over the weekend, it made me realize something. I have the most important job in the world. Sure there are other important jobs, but I preserve memories for people. I take photo’s for generations to come of that family to look at..to remember people by. That’s a huge deal.
Today I’m feeling all sorts of emotions for these two families that have gone through losing such important people in their lives. I’m also thanking God for giving me this talent so I can preserve memories for families.
… on a much brighter note, I’ll be doing a session giveaway in memory of these two sweet families later in the week on Instagram, so make sure you’re following me! IG: @jamithompsonphoto
I know some families can’t afford professional photography so I’m doing this giveaway as a chance for someone to get professional shots taken at no charge.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Rowand and Cottone families.