This weekend, I had the opportunity to photograph one of the most emotional sessions of my life. On Good Friday, I ventured to the hospital to photograph a beautiful mother, who has been battling cancer ever since the birth of her baby boy, 6 short months ago. She found out the bad news when they opened her up for a Cesarian during the birth of her baby boy and has been battling this awful disease ever since. She was recently given only a few weeks to live. I was asked to give this family, particularly the baby boy, some images of him with his mother, so he can have these memories to remember his mother by. I can't begin to describe how lucky I feel to be able to give this child this gift.
While I have always felt that photography was so important to preserve memories for any family, I feel like this session was the most meaningful session I have done to date. While the session itself was not the most ideal situation. Shooting in a hospital, having your subjects stricken with grief, mom, extremely weak, and in incredible amounts of pain. The images I got are not award winning, but they will mean more to this family than you or I could ever know.
I feel like this family has opened up my eyes to what I have around me. I always say I'm thankful for being in good health, but until you see someone in unbearable pain, you have no idea how lucky you are. Until you see a husband clinging to his wife with more hurt in his eyes than you or I have ever experienced, you have no idea how lucky you are. I often stress about small things in life, like making sure my kids are at their activities on time. Having a good work/home life balance. Having to meet deadlines, be at appointments, having a clean house. And the list goes on. After my session on Friday, I realize these things are not what is important. Don't stress over how high your kids can count before they turn 3, or keeping up with having a healthy supper on the table at 6:00 every night, or making sure the house is spotless every Sunday. Enjoy every single moment you have with the people you love. Spend the extra time tickling your kids to hear them laugh. Kiss your husband and squeeze him tight instead of nagging him to take out the trash. Call up a friend you haven't heard from in a while because life gets busy. Go and visit your sister who lives in another province. Let go of all the little stresses in your life and enjoy all of those little moments, which are actually the big moments.
I didn't ask the family if I can share their images, and likely won't, but I felt like I needed to share their story. I am so thankful of this family and having them allow me to give this baby boy a gift, a memory of his mother that he can take with him wherever life takes him. They have touched my heart in more ways than they will ever know. I will never forget them.