I have held on to this post…knowing I would not be satisfied unless I was able to sit down and give it the time that it deserved.
Danielle is a beautiful friend of mine whom I love very much. (She is pictured on the left with her husband Michael. Isn’t she beautiful?!) When she asked me to take pictures of her extended family, of course I said, “Yes!”.
We began planning when her Father-in-law, who had been battling cancer, received a grim diagnosis. Danielle thought it best to move the pictures so that we could capture Mike still looking like himself.
It was important that we document some candid moments that would remind the family of everyday life.
Mike spent a great deal of time at his desk. It was obvious that we would want to photograph him sitting there, as he did everyday, working while glancing up now and then to catch the score of the football game.
For those of you who have been witness to a loved ones demise from cancer, you are aware of how quickly and mercilessly it takes them from normal to emaciated.
We took family pictures on August 24th. Mike had a rough morning, but was a trooper. He was unable to walk down the stairs so we hung a backdrop and took pictures of the family upstairs.
We were also able to get some great pictures of Mike and Sherry in their own environment, surrounded by family, memories and the life they had built together.
The rest of the family went downstairs while Mike rested. They gave me a front row seat to their family time. On this particular evening it entailed playing scrabble and enjoying the beautiful weather outside while the dogs ran around.
September 2, nine days after our photo session, Mike was admitted to Hospice of Atlanta. I was honored to sit with the family that evening and look through the pictures taken less than two weeks before. We laughed and cried. It was beautiful.
Less than 24 hours later, Mike was in Heaven.
Friends, this is an emotional post for me. Life is fragile and fleeting. We aren’t sure what lies ahead. We must spread hope wherever we go. We must love with our actions, not mere words. We must cling to the promise of a future with the one who knows and loves us best.
The following was taken from Mike’s memorial service.
“We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:18b, 19a).
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock that cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love!