It's sad to think I often write on the day of loss, but forgive me for that, as it really does help with the sorrow. Last night my dear friend Sidni lost her lovely sister-in-law, Mary O'Leary, to ovarian cancer. I wrote a few weeks ago about the time I spent photographing her wonderful family, and I am so thankful for getting to share that time with her. I have thought a lot about women and cancer since Mary's diagnosis and from recording my new friend Camari and my friend Lisa, who are breast cancer survivors. Those of you who follow this blog realize that once we have Soulumination on solid ground financially and administratively, I will help lead a fundraiser to benefit research into cures for these horrific cancers. I have pledged to Sidni that I will make this tragic loss matter. I will be honored to follow the legacy that Mary left in three terrific daughters through the caring and thoughtful ways of their aunt. You will see her pictured today with her husband Dennis.
Sadly, I was just trying to get my footing after the recent losses of Francisco and Sydney when I opened my email moments ago to find that little Timothy, whom I met in Tulsa, also passed away. In looking back to the overnight I had with Timothy and his family, I am so thankful and moved to have had the opportunity to be with them. Angela, Timothy's mom, has a voice of soft Southern charm that has a soothing quality uniquely its own. I am so blessed even in this sorrow, as I will get to meet Timothy's aunt Naomi next month when I visit Washington, DC. She is the person who arranged and paid for my flight to Tulsa and who held the fundraiser for Soulumination and honoring Timothy's life. Timothy was such a beautiful child that I was thrilled that he graced the cover of the Pediatric archive journal. His loss to the effects of Tay Sachs cuts me to the bone and gives me renewed strength at the same time to continue this work with open arms to all the families. Timothy is pictured today in the shot that was used for the journal; I caught this shot early in the morning in Tulsa as he was receiving steroids in mist form to help his breathing. The sun was coming through the curtains and the sight sent me running for my camera.
We welcome with warm hearts a new family to the Soul collection. They are the charming folks who came for a shoot on the day we lost Francisco. Without even seeing the work, they have agreed to let us take their images to the show in Washington, DC. Hopefully I will meet up with Andrew and his mom tomorrow morning to give them the photos while they are at Children's. I had a most amazing chat with Andrew's mom yesterday and the feelings she shared about how the shoot went for them also gives me some solace today. I am posting a shot from their time with me; as you can see, they all have bald heads, one from chemo, one naturally, and the rest shaved in solidarity.
I am thrilled to let you know that little Emily again has clean counts from her last visit to Children's. My thanks to her parents for sharing this news.
I quote Tracy Chapman from a book given to me by my new friend Ann Simpson: "I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives." Please allow me to just list first names of those who in the past couple of weeks who have been angels of the first degree for me: Suzanne, Annie, Sidni, Auni, Dan, Heidi, Linda, Denise, Cory, Michelle, Leslie, Llewelyn, McKenzie, Sarah, Brenna, Diane, Deb, Fred, Lori, Kelley, Bettijean, Mark, Sally, Joan, Mona, Shane, Michael, Alisa, Molly, Naomi, Doug, Otis, Dawnelle, Patty, Lise, Linda, Karen, all of Francisco's nurses, Rebeccah, Colleen, Kurt, Jeremy, Paul, Brig and Scott. All of these wonderful people reach out to me in ways that they may think ordinary, but I assure you they make such a difference to my spirit. Their loving natures and the little things they do add up to their loaning me wings that allow me the ability to move forward and push a little higher in this foundation. In peace and love, Lynette