My dad passed away two weeks ago today. People say it gets easier with time, but every day feels a little harder than the one before. I can’t explain the heartache I feel and the pain that comes to mind when I dwell on the fact that he is gone…forever. I can hardly comprehend it right now, which is probably a good thing. But I do know that no matter how deep the pain, I want to keep on living. For him. I want to make him proud of me. I want to make my mark on the world, just like he did.
One week ago, I sat at his funeral and watched the slide show of images, pictures of our amazing life, pass before my eyes. I remember feeling incredibly sad…yet incredibly thankful. For the memories they held. The laughter they showed, the joy they captured. Looking back, they seemed like just simple snapshots in time…but now, they are treasured, priceless moments. Ones that we will cherish forever.
As excruciatingly painful as it is, I can never bring my daddy back. I will never hear his sweet laugh again or see that contagious smile light up his face. But I will always have memories. I will always have photographs of him. I can look at them and hold them tight. And when I sit back and close my eyes, I can go right back to that beautiful place.
I want to do that for others, too. I want to make sure that they have the best pieces of life to hold on to. I want them to remember romantic glances and belly laughs, inside jokes and little whispers, hidden kisses and huge bear hugs. I want them to have the assurance that no matter what tomorrow brings, they’ll always be able to hold on to the gift of today.
And that’s why I love photography.
It’s my therapy. It’s how I’ll move on. It’s how I’ll make my dad proud.
As many of you know, I’m expecting my first baby in June. Due date? Father’s Day. Now that’s not an accident, is it? Amongst the incredible feelings of joy that this new life brings, I have to say that it also weighs very heavily on my heart that my dad will never meet his sweet new grandchild. However, one thing I know. This child will always know about him. They will always hold a piece of him in their heart. They will always carry on his legacy. I will make sure of it.
This month I had three newborn appointments. I usually don’t have that many. But I found myself incredibly thankful for the timing of these babies…because photographing them holds a whole new meaning to me now. It’s a great reminder of what’s to come…a great reminder that while My Sweet Jesus can’t replace the joy that my dad brought into my life, He CAN show me that joy still exists. And He does that through these precious little miracles. And soon…He will do that through mine.
I can’t wait to be a mommy. But for now, I’m thanking God for giving me some pretty cute little glimpses of what lies ahead…
First…there’s Beckett. He has a mommy who is an incredible nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and a very brave and courageous fire-fighting daddy. Many of you remember Marley, my 3 year old niece who lost her battle to brain cancer a little over a year ago. This precious baby’s mom was one of her amazing nurses, taking her for walks in the middle of the night, cuddling up with her, and spoiling her rotten. Now, she has a precious little boy of her own to spoil. Every little inch of him is just perfect. Easy to say, I was in love…immediately.
Followed by sweet baby Harper. She is the daughter of some good friends of mine, Matt & Cara Lynch. I’ve taken pictures of their oldest daughter Camryn, since she was a baby, and now they welcome their second daughter into the world. They are amazing people and even more amazing parents. And…they make amazing-looking children.
And last but not least, little Victoria. She was only four days old when I did this shoot, and she is just as cute as she can be. Her parents are wonderful people, and her older sister Charlotte is ready to teach her everything she knows…and more. Lauren and Brian have a warmth about them that is contagious, and I immediately loved them…I mean, what’s not to love?
“He has made everything beautiful in His time…we cannot fathom all that God has done…” Ecclesiastes 3:11