09 December 2011

Family photos

When I was 11, my mom died of stomach cancer. It was a short battle, at least from my understanding. We had just moved to a new house and I remember her complaining of back pains and going to the chiropractor and me joking that she might be pregnant (which she didn't seem to like too much, but at that time I didn't really understand where babies came from. Oh my naivety). Anyways, 6 weeks before she died they diagnosed her with stomach cancer and said she didn't have long. When my dad told my sister and me about this, it was the end of September. He said she'll be lucky to make it to Thanksgiving and even luckier to make it to Christmas. However, before this, I remember my mom (or possibly one of my aunts) had bought us dresses and a photographer was supposed to come take pictures of us because we hadn't had pictures taken since we were really little (funny, now I'm a photographer... anyways...). When the time came for the photos, though, Mom had become really weak and so we didn't go through with the photos, which sucks. But it's life.
Well, this summer when I went home I held a "special" for portrait sessions because I wanted to stay busy and make some extra money. A family I babysat for told their friends about my special, one of which was her best friend, who was dying of cancer. At that point she had already long exceeded the time the doctors originally expected her to fight until (go Heidi!!). Being the child of a mother that died young, I cannot tell you how hard it was for me to do the shoot for Heidi and her family because all I kept thinking about were her kids, and how they had no idea what was going on with their mom or what was going to happen (because, after all, I still don't even know that about my mom, and I was 11. They're 2 and 4). Well, Heidi lost her battle to cancer just over a week ago. My heart aches for her best friend, her friends, and her family... and most of all, her kids. I hope I was able to provide them with some images to remember their mom by for many years to come.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really touching story.
    There is something that I can't help but notice in so many photos of people living with or having just defeated their cancer; they almost all look so happy and confident.

    Perhaps they have come to terms with their mortality and realize that the most important things in life are not earning a big salary away from home or having the fanciest things, but enjoying the small moments and the blessings that they do have such as family, friends, their senses, life.

    They are really brave and I respect so much when I can see from the light in their eyes..whether they may be scared or not..they are facing life with as much of an optimistic outlook as they can.

    My heart goes out to you, this woman's family and friends, as well as many others I have known.