Friday, January 05, 2007

So envision spending over half of your 4 month old sons life in hospitals and then imagine that much of the time has been basically quaranteened. The wonderful family I met yesterday has done just that, shepherding this now lively and handsome little guy to a state where he is round enough and strong enough for a bone marrow transplant. From there think of gathering over 800 people in your home town to be tested for bone marrow donations, but finding that none of them are a match for your little guy. This family has hope of the match being found soon and I would encourage all who can to make that step toward donation. The worlds I enter with camera in hand are often so normal seeming with beautiful people loving their incredible kids, but then you step out and drive home and realize that the challenges they face are anything but normal. I so hope that the little kindness of the photos of Soulumination help them to know that respect and admiration are theirs. So often the families tell me that they are just doing what any of us would do for our child, but the truth is many of us have the amazing good fortune of never having to face the type of challenges that they face daily and often for months and years on end.

Let me again salute the nurses of Children's and say that I see such dedication and kindness in their daily toils. I personally know a few both from my private life and from the work of Soul and they are such treasures.

We are looking at working with 6 or 7 more new families this month as well as working to update shots of 2 our our kiddos who have made some big steps since we last photographed them. I am so thankful for your financial support and for the kind words that come our way most days, it truly helps to have such caring, especially when there are days that tears are the outlet. I send hugs to our photographer Susan Doupe who is traveling to Gig Harbor soon to work with her first family

Today I look forward to meeting the mom of the latest child that we have been working with. This beautiful baby boy was not part of Soul in the usual way, but we are working to build lovely archives of the photos taken by family and friends at his birth. With the help I mentioned last week from our wonderful Sarah here in the office and Karen in California we are part way through the process and today both mom and dad will come to share more of his legacy. My knees get weak when I think of them entering the courtyard as when dad came he brought that tender sorrow and vulnerable air that always moves me in the deepest of ways. Since I have seen their birth photos I know how utterly lovely this couple will be and I truly welcome them with open arms as they are a part of Soul that takes me back to the day my niece was briefly recorded by my camera almost 10 years ago. I have often struggled with how you find a way to cope with a loss of someone that you had such hopes and dreams wrapped up in but there are now days when I quietly reflect that the gift in my life of a niece that I didn't get to know was that now my eyes are open to loss in a way that has lead me to meet and embrace many many new friends and families. This niece has helped me forge strong and lasting bonds also with the other photographers of Soul and her inspiration will hopefully lead to many more amazing discoveries in my own heart. I am showing a photo of her little sister today that I took for Tammara Stroud of Baby Nouveau. Tammara and her daughter, Alexandra are great supporters of Soulumination and I think this shot captures the beautiful clothing created by Tammara but also the joy all the Johnson's feel in having the gift of this youngest niece.

I close with thoughts of the photos that are waiting at Children's to be sent to one of the families I met on the 20th of December. There are a few in their selection that will stay forever in my heart. I know it wasn't easy to allow a total stranger into the room at that moment, but I so hope that the incredible love that is visible in the shots will be some comfort and always proudly show how their son was such a beautiful boy. In love and peace, Lynette