This past year was hard.
I know many of you can relate. Anyone who has cared for a loved one with a terminal illness will understand the difficulties we faced since learning my mother-in-law had ALS. It was already quite advanced, she was misdiagnosed for many years, and she didn’t have much time left. We knew how this was going to end.
We knew, but we weren’t prepared.
Even when you know it’s going to happen, you’re never really ready for it. Somehow, it’s still a shock. You can be grateful they aren’t suffering anymore. You can know they are in a better place. You can even feel blessed to have had the extra time you had, but it’s still a devastating blow to lose someone you love so much.
I was incredibly blessed! My children had the most amazing grandmother. In fact, when I was teaching, she was really their second mother. She woke them every morning, got them off the bus every afternoon, and made them dinner most nights while I was still at work. And when the time came where she couldn’t do it anymore and my father-in-law needed to take care of her full time, I was able to be here. When teaching couldn’t provide the flexible schedule I needed, I was fortunate enough to have another skill to turn to as a career. A skill that allowed me to work for myself and have the flexibility to put my family first.
So when my father-in-law needed help to care for her, I was able to help. When my children had questions, I was there to answer them. When the final weeks arrived, I was able to be here with my family. There really is no greater blessing!
And though the past few weeks have been terribly difficult, there is a silver lining.
I have thousands (literally thousands) of pictures of my mother-in-law! My children will always be able to look at images of her to remember what her eyes look liked when she laughed. They can see how she squinched up her face when she was being silly. They can look at pictures where she is embracing them and remember how they always felt so safe and loved in her arms!
“When you’re shivering with loss, let love keep you warm with memories.” ~Terri Guillemets
Full disclosure: I didn’t want to leave teaching. I loved teaching and I always felt so proud to be a teacher. I felt like I was doing something that mattered. I didn’t recognize the same value in my new career.
This experience has had a very unanticipated side effect. It has renewed my sense of purpose and deepened my passion for photography. I can honestly say that I am more driven than ever to capture memories and document life for others. I believe this pursuit is just as important as teaching.
Now, the purpose of a business blog is to show you what I can do for you and to get you to hire me, but I’m not so great at that part yet and I honestly think this is so much bigger than that. Of course you can hire me! And I would be honored to help your family create and document amazing memories that you can cherish forever! But right now, I just want you to understand how important it is. So whether you hire me, or another photographer, or feel capable of doing it yourself; the point is to do it and do it now!
Capture these memories; preserve everyday moments. Your children will never be as little as they are today, you will never be as young as you are today, and tomorrow will get here sooner than you expect.