Thursday, January 18, 2007

With the dawn of this year we have gotten so many requests for work with new families that the next couple of weeks could bring us at least five new families and three of our dear children returning for updated shots. It's always so nice to see some familiar faces and be allowed to record changes and progress.

The lovely baby girl I worked with most recently at Children's was not only a sweet subject, but she had an older brother that was so smitten with his sibling that it just melted me. He was of the age to start losing his teeth and he told me that the "Tooth Pharoah" would be taking his teeth once they fell out. I am charmed by his choice of title for this magic, and he and I were hoping that if it was a pharoah who came for teeth, then maybe you would receive some wonderful treasure under your pillow. It was a very special visit to Children's as I was also able to hand-deliver some recent photos and see my handsome new friend again as he awaits his bone marrow transplant. In walking toward the room of my new family I ran right into another Soul mom whom I had met and worked with before Christmas. She looked so beautiful and had such wise and thoughtful words to share.

Tomorrow morning brings a dear client and friend to my studio for photos with her best friends and sisters. She is facing the loss of her own life due to the ravages of cancer. I had the pleasure of working with her and her three children this past summer, and at that point all seemed under control. But I recently got an email letting friends know that the diagnosis was vastly different from summer's happiness and that on Saturday she and her husband would be hosting a party so she can say goodbye in person. I have offered to take my camera to record the loving and caring moments that I know will be so very powerful. After working with families for Soulumination I thought I had myself to a point where I could record the beauty in all of life and keep myself at least outwardly calm, but already my heart pounds and my whole being cries out in sorrow. We are also approaching the one year mark since losing my little pal Sydney, and just thinking back to the day of her beautiful memorial service leaves my knees weak. I so appreciate the words that arrive by email or through the mail that just give me that little boost, that grounding to move forward when it all seems too much. Please keep the families in your hearts, and as grief touches those around you, please remember that your support and listening ear are vitally important.

Two amazing things have happened this week to remind me that this path is blessed with grace and support. The first came in the form of a lovely check from Kohler company in honor of dear little baby Trevor. It couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time to give me that little nod that I was so desperately needing. Then yesterday the most touching email arrived from a local producer with NBC asking if I would consider letting her pitch a story for NBC nightly news with Brian Williams. Her touching email made me cry and brought me the nicest hug from my assistant and friend Deb Hamby. Never in this life would I have imagined that anyone would be willing to tell a story about a small kindness, and now it has been offered again after such past loving attention from the media. With these things there is always a big chance that it won't happen, but it's just so lovely that people's hearts are open to learning about grief and sharing the stories of the amazing families we meet with the work of Soulumination.

My dear friend Karen in California just completed the work on a fourth photo for one of our most recent families, and she has so kindly done it as a personal gift to the parents. We will be working with a new volunteer, artist Maude May, to create a special gift that will hold photos taken at this baby's funeral service. The images are powerful and cut to the heart with their poignancy. Its so wonderful to welcome new talent into the fold, and I so appreciate the help from both Karen and Maude.

I am posting Trevor's photo in thanks to Kohler and the friends of Trevor who have all been so supportive with funds to move this project forward. My sincerest thanks to those of you who kindly sent a card to my mom. I spoke with her yesterday and she was so happy to have received them. In love and peace, Lynette