Saturday, April 08, 2006

Arriving home to find requests waiting from 3 new families made me realize just how this project is expanding locally and nationally. The project in DC that I helped launch will be run through their Children's hospital under the guidance of one creative and brilliant woman named Tina and her staff. They will be joined by the lovely Sarah Mattingly, who saw the piece on the Today Show and responded with such vision that she actually approached the hospital and will be the photographer's coordinator for their project. This celebratory project promises to be something of incredible scope, value and integrity for families in the DC area. Our show currently hanging there is so beautifully hung, and I had the thrill of watching people walk into the exhibit totally unaware that it had been hung. Watching the faces and the loving responses, the tears and the smiles certainly made the trip one I will forever treasure. To have Timothy's aunt and uncle, Naomi, Robert and their two children present, along with Elise and her entire family and nurse was such a thrill. These two families know the reality of living with a child with Tay Sachs, and Elise's nurse graciously took the stage to give a wonderful account of my time in New Jersey when I came to photograph Elise. My heart is overflowing with the sense that something so dear to my heart now has the heart of the nation's capital.

The first day in DC found me being whisked to Maryland by Sarah to work with a new Soulumination child. Conner's mom Desiree had contacted me after seeing photos of Joey and meeting Elise. It was a rewarding shoot, as I got to share it with Sarah, and she graciously took photos for our use that I am posting today. We will print and mount a few shots of Conner to add to the show back East, as Conner is a patient at that hospital and I think it will be wonderful to add a local child to the display.

I am so thankful to all the photographers in the DC area, to Kelley for joining me on the trip even though she herself fell ill and then helped her sister through unexpected surgery, and to Sarah and Tina for making this something so incredibly special. The tours Sarah provided of the DC monuments was perfect and I returned to Seattle knowing that the spirit of Soulumination will be flying high in the East coast.

With all the current requests I realize that we must be careful to raise enough funds to serve all who inquire. We will be sending out a newsletter soon that will highlight the work from the past year. If you would like to receive one, please send your mailing address. The cost to provide Soulumination service to one family is approximately $350. We have had wonderful support so far and hope that it will continue if we continue to honor each family and request to the best of our ability. The mounting and transporting of each show and the hours it takes to set up such an event is very time-consuming and costly, but again the educational aspect of all this should prove itself worthy of support. In love and peace, Lynette