Today is big milestone for this mom, McKenzie turns 21 and I mark it as the day that I started photographing with a clear purpose. She is in California and I won't see her for a few more weeks but today I will dedicate my trip to Children's Hospital to her. McKenzie's arrival catapulted me into this world of recording special moments and without the presence of my two daughters I doubt I would be a photographer today. McKenzie also put together our first fundraiser at her place of work in California and accompanied me when I visited the lovely Soulumination child, Charlotte and took shots of me at work. So when the call came in yesterday's late afternoon and I had an opening to record another angel baby today at Children's I knew it was another sign that the path of this work is laid out so honorably that there is no choice but to follow with my heart open. The little one I will see today is in the same room where I visited Adam over a year ago, his amazing spirit will fill me as I think of his lovely mom and her generousity and warmth often and how she made my visiting time with Adam one of joy. So today I am filled with such pride as McKenzie is all I could dream of and so much more, and the gift of her in my life has paved the way for so many opportunities.
Yesterday I spent 3 hours at Swedish Hospital working with 5 families with premature babies. It was an eye opening experiance and took me into a world that gave so much insight into the place my friends inhabited 21 years ago while taking care of their son Janus. I dedicate the work of the project to Janus and my niece Lanie, but had never really known how it was in a NICU. The families yesterday were wonderful even in the face of all the machines and all the days that they spend watching and helping their tiny ones reach a point where they are big enough to come home. All the babies were doing quite well and you could see the journey will be long for some but with the excellant staff and care at Swedish there is so much hope for a bright future for these children. I thank Lacey Blank of the March of Dimes for allowing me this experiance and I hope to return on a regular basis as Costco has generously offered a processing and printing price that will allow the March of Dimes to have photographers on a regular basis. I am attaching a photo of my first premie, Tanner who I met right before Easter in the NICU at Swedish. His mom inspiring me in so many ways with her pure goodness and complete dedication to Tanner.
The trip to Children's today also falls on the day that we start to seat our board for Solumination. I will welcome Fred Moody, our writer, Bettijean Collins, our grant writer, and Kelley Myers, our web site genius, onto the board. We will seat Pat Kerns, our organization and financial person when she is not away for business. We are still hoping to find a few people with great insight into fundraising and the spirit to follow through with such endeavors. We have so many amazing people backing us up that I think our work will be fulfilling and effective.
We are soon to launch a message board for the parents of Soulumination as suggested by Ann Curry of the Today Show which will be monitored by Alice Adams and Sheila Ryan and offer the parents are secure place to air their struggles and triumphs in the face of such grief. Again, I thank Kelley Myers for her efforts in setting this up as she has tirelessly done work for the project since the day we met in April.
We are framing the second batch of prints of the Soulumination Collection Show through the generosity of Museum Quality Framing. We are so hopeful as a local corppration is possibly making steps toward sponsorship of the show. I try to be optimistic without counting on this to come through and just have to trust that the right thing will happen.
So, Happy Birthday dearest McKenzie. Today will be one of many emotions. I close with the same ending Mac and I always use: love you, mom