Friday, December 23, 2005

My Christmas was made more sacred to me with the visit yesterday by a young friend named Sidney. Sidney has an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor. The accompanying photo shows her last summmer when I visited her at her home. She is an artist who has special talents and she had mentioned a project that she wanted to work on when I first photographed her this summer. With Christmas fast approaching and so much shopping to be done that promised no magic, I opted to invite her over to complete this artful venture. Sidney is now in a wheelchair and speaks mostly by typing into a message pad, but her spirit and artistic vision are intact. She spent two hours with me along with her great friend Megan. Those two hours were so special and I think the completed project has so much charm and appeal, much like Sidney herself. Last night was capped off with our own Llewelyn arriving in time to join us for Doug's company party.

While Sidney was still with me, Lesley, my assistant, returned from Moonphoto with the photos of Timothy. This little guy was scheduled for photos over six weeks ago, but we had to wait as he had an unexpected long stay at Children's and we were waiting until he was well enough for photos. The photos show him with his mom and his little hand holding onto his mom's. Both photos spoke to me of the incredible love and devotion I saw in the room that evening. I will make a trip to Arlington after New Year's to get photos of Timothy's entire family. His older sister Angelica suffers from the same unnamed condition. Keep this family and Sidney in your holiday hearts as they so deserve our love and attention.

We mailed the photos to the family of the tiny one that I met and lost last Saturday. My hope is that the photos will arrive in time for them to have them before Christmas. My prayers for love and peace are with this beautiful family.

I end with special thanks to the staff in Palliative Care at Children's hospital, their guidance and wisdom allowing me the means to move forward and feel the flow of life even in times of sorrow. The wisdom shared by Mark, Lesley and Michelle this past week has made such a difference. To my summer interns, Auni, Daniel and Jill who gave time in their holiday break to join us to complete a project that will aid all the future speeches, writing and media packets for Soulumination, a big hug for their support and friendship. To my board for always giving thoughtful and appropriate guidance I will forever be grateful. To all of you who stepped forward with generous gifts, I hope that as you read this you realize that your gifts are going directly to new families and to supporting this project on the most basic and necessary level, without your help this increased outreach would not be possible. And to all my friends who will soon be working with me on a new presentation that promises to be very special indeed, as well as those who will come in January to help create the albums and trifolds that the parents treasure---here's to camaraderie and productivity, I can't wait to be with all of you. And lastly to my family, this day when we will travel to the airport to pick up McKenzie will complete the circle of love that brought this passion for photography to light.

I am adding to this missive on Christmas Eve: As I head out for the day to spend time with my family in Sequim, I do so with feelings of joy mixed with many other emotions. The families that I have met through Soulumination have taught me much about life and love. I carry little memories of each child, but cherish those memories and hope that the images that I help create will be part of healing and growth and finding the path to a life that is meaningful. There is much for me to learn and much for Soulumination to assimilate and explore. It is my honor to share this work and to meet and work with families of such amazing strength and love. May this season and its grace be a time of fully enjoying those we love. Happy birthday to my father in law, Tom Johnson and to Josiah and Henry's mom, Alice Adams. In love and peace, Lynette