Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I received the amazing news that our dear friend Marin has qualified for the US Paralympics National Swim Team. She is such an amazing young woman and is pictured here today with her family, and then again with me when she helped me out with a photo shoot to promote the Husky Nation CD sales. Keep Marin in your hearts as her brain tumor is showing signs of growth.

"If you die first, I will miss you. If I die first, you will miss me" were words that hit my heart when my good friend Gretchen was sharing a book with me about the wonderful L'Arche homes. Those who know me well know how it upsets me when people say things such as: "I don't know how you do what you do. Or, "You must be stronger than I am." the truth is I am no stronger than anyone and I do this and am surrounded now by others willing to take photos for families because it's the right thing to do. Not one of us really knows who will go next--it could be you or me. So, would we want others to shrink back from our loved ones when we die or would we want others to celebrate our lives in photos and stories and lovely memories? We will want our loved ones to be allowed to grieve and reminisce. Regardless of who dies first, that person will be sorely missed and the work of this foundation will hopefully help others to keep the spirit alive that makes each of us uniquely loved and cherished.

We have been busy indeed. Both Amy Sherrer and Leo Lam have completed their first shoots and I can tell by the reaction from Leo's assignment that they are already thrilled with him--and they haven't even seen the photos. Amy completed hers this morning and dropped film off and I could tell by the way she describes her little guy that we will have lovely images for his family. I will be able to share Amy's new friend Landon right away as the family has already signed releases. I have viewed work from two shoots by our board member and photographer Randell Walton and they are wonderful. I also had the pleasure of viewing new work for Soulumination by Michael Good and these photos are also stunning. I couldn't feel more blessed than I do by having such amazing talent and loving hearts supporting this mission.

Our Teens in Public Service intern, Max Cho, is a godsend. This young man has skills that are so amazing in the technology field, and he is gracious and hard working and very caring. As with Toshi last year, Max is learning a lot about middle-aged women, and I hope you can take our nutty ways. Max and our wonderful Sarah will accompany me next Tuesday to Camp Agape, where we will photograph all the families in attendance. I had the pleasure of attending two years ago and I am so excited to return. My thanks to my friend Nanette Hayre and her husband for making this possible.

Our lovely video that was created by volunteers with the amazing support of Flicker and Blur is on You Tube now, along with a wonderful tribute to Soulumination and our work with Conner Hopf. If you go to You Tube and type in Soulumination, you can view these lovely pieces. Please share them with friends so we continue to raise consciousness about this work. Max also put Soulumination up on Wikipedia, so we are now in the hot spots of internet communications.

I got a wonderful email today from a man in Portland who read about Soul in the Alaska magazine and he would like to start doing similar work in that fair city. It thrills me not only to watch the support grow here in Seattle but to know that the idea is seeping into the greater consciousness.

Today brought such sad news to my life and made me realize that death affects our souls as if it happened yesterday, even three years after the loss. I had not known that one of my grooms lost his life in an accident three years ago this May. The news was sadly told to me by his lovely wife while she sat in the afternoon light in my courtyard holding her beautiful daughters in her arms for my camera. I had asked when their dad would be arriving and they had to tell me about his passing, as somehow I had never heard the devastating news. I send my love to these three beautiful women tonight. I have not been able to fully come to terms with this news and its hard to imagine this tragedy. I applaud Gillian for the obvious amazing job she has done in raising such sparkling girls and helping them through their sorrow. Rick lives through his daughters as they both carry his genes in ways the will forever remind us of him. I close as always in love and peace and tonight in tears of sorrow, Lynette