Friday, April 28, 2006

On Monday we celebrate the birth of one of my two greatest inspirations for my work in photography. Our Llewelyn Garlough Johnson will be 20 years old and I am overwhelmed with love and emotion when I think about all she brings to my life. Her gentle loving ways and calm spirit so often helps bring me back to a place where I can move forward effectively. Her genuine love for all humanity and her willingness to be accepting is such a powerful reminder that we are so blessed to live a life so full of grace. I salute and thank you my Lulu for adding to this world gently and quietly.

I had the ultimate pleasure of working again with my friend Claire who turned one this week. She shares her birthday with another Soul child that was a special friend to me, Sydney. Claire brought her mom and grandma to my new studio and it was a time so precious, filled with laughter, tears and such joy in watching Claire show off her new clapping skills. She was sporting a nifty hat made by Grandma, which hid a lovely head of red hair. This little girl is so much fun to watch and to just drink up her smile is complete pleasure.

I had a marvelous evening with Sydney's mom and good friends Megan and Babs. It was so nice to hear about the amazing garage sale that netted $9000 to honor the life of dear Sydney. The money will find its way to helping in research and in providing other children with the costly message boards like the type that allowed Sydney to communicate after the tumor robbed her of the ability to speak. I am so thankful for the friendship of these 3 remarkable women and appreciate their input and encouragement. Sydney's parents have offered to speak as needed to tell their feelings about the work of Soulumination.

I was given the opportunity to speak to the nurses at the NICU at Tacoma General Hospital. It was an hour of much growth as the nurses always share so much knowledge while I try to guide them to ways of more effectively photographing the babies that are patients at this hospital. I hope to keep in touch and work through some issues around how to best capture images for the families.

Yesterday I was scheduled to work with a new Soul child at Children's here in Seattle but sadly the effects of the marrow transplant set in sooner that expected so we have to wait until this child is feeling better. While answering the many emails I receive daily and thinking I had until noon to complete my daily exercise regime, I got a call from Children's asking if I could come in for a family who minutes before had lost their precious son. Since my bags were packed anyway, I was changed and out the door in minutes and arrived to photograph a face of such beauty and peace that memory will forever be etched in my being, reminding me that life can flow into other dimensions at any time. The soft chanting and obvious love of the parents who were surrounded by a dozen caring nurses made the room one of peace and compassion. I feel blessed to have been a tiny part of the moment.

It was quite the week as I also had the most amazing "Science Tuesday" at Benaroya Research Institute. To say they are doing incredible work sounds trite when I think of what these people are accomplishing. I encourage you to read about this organization and to consider supporting their efforts. I was led to this institute through an amazing woman that I was honored to know clear back at good old Sequim High School, Brenda Handley. We recently reconnected through the loss of her sister in law, Krista, to ovarian cancer. Some of you know my heart is tied to the idea of someday leading a large fundraising effort to benefit breast and ovarian cancer research. With the recent loss of Krista and Mary, and the struggles with breast cancer that I have watched and sometimes recorded for my dear friends Donna, NoleAnn, Camary, Eileen, Lisa, Sheila and Jo, I am committed to finding a way to make a difference in this area.

I will post photos today of the beautiful boy, Conner who I met in the DC area as well and my almost 20 year old, Llewelyn. In love and peace, Lynette