Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yesterday I had the pleasure of addressing two groups of nurses of the University Hospital's NICU. I had received a call from a nurse named Heidi who had read about Soulumination and wondered if I would speak to her unit about taking photos for families using the digital camera they have. I am not versed in the use of digital equipment but I knew I could give them some tips and encourage them to take thoughtful and lovely photos for their families. They are obviously already doing a nice job as we have not received a single call from parents at the UW Hospital. They were a wonderful group of women and I am hoping to go later this week to work with one of their patients, so Heidi and I can work together and perhaps inspire the unit's nurses further in their efforts. I commend them for trying to make a disc of photos for each family and for the fact that they encourage families to use the camera themselves. It was wonderful that I had a photo disc, produced by my new intern, Brenna, to accompany my talk. She did a wonderful job, and having the photos to show in such a beautiful format makes such an impact.

My talk was followed by a presentation from a nurse named Deb, who works for an amazing foundation called Isis. Check them out--they do some wonderful work in Uganda and Nepal. Oops, almost forgot to mention that Heidi is not only a very good photographer, she is an excellant cook and provided me with a lovely bento box lunch that was a real treat.

Last Thursday we had a work party here at my new studio to make the trifolds and the photo albums that we give to each family. It was a great turnout and I am so thankful that I have so many helpful, talented, and delightful friends who come join us each time they are called. The camaraderie and support seem to flow into each creation and I am thrilled to present our families with items formed by loving hands. A special thank-you to Susan, who has gone beyond the call of duty to actually figure out how to create the albums and provide many of the supplies that go into each one. Three of our lovely interns were present that evening, and it's wonderful to have them with us as their youth and enthusiasm adds so much.

Doug and I spent Saturday evening with Francisco and many of his friends. We brought a little cake just to celebrate knowing him, and it was such a fun evening. It was my honor to meet Ann and Gwen, mother and girlfriend of one of Francisco's friends who passed away on the 31st. These two women light up a room with their love and compassion. There were many nurses present, all smiling and happy just to be part of a little tribute to such an exemplary young man, plus a mom from the room next door, sporting her shaved head, came to talk and share her experiences about the progress of her son's treatment. It was one special night, and we are now hoping to have a DVD back soon from Guatemala so Francisco can see his family and hear their voices.

Sunday marked the second anniversary of the date I met Josiah, Alice, and Dave Adams. It was good to spend time together watching Henry crawl and laugh and remind us that life is so precious. Soon it will be two years since Josiah died, and my heart is with these very special friends. They have made themselves available many times for Soulumination PR and have helped this country start to open to families in grief.

This week is a full one as my mom and niece will be with us tonight. I have my usual shoots for my business, two meetings for Soul, and on Thursday I will have a new Soul family at Children's and hopefully one at UW Hospital, plus my friend Kari will drive me to Arlington on Sunday to finally meet all of Timothy's family and get photos of his sister.

In peace and love, Lynette