We shouldn't hope to end up one day a magnificent, strong, beautiful, capable, kind, loving person. We should start living like that today so we become that. Who we become is not an accident, but a purposeful intent.
Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans. This statement could not be more true of the last 3 months of my life. Fresh out of PSW Atlanta, I was excited and ready to put to use all that I’d learned. Tammy and I were scheduling more shoots in the studio. Life had other plans…
Helping to take care of my aging parents and having them live with me has been a real challenge during the last 2 years. While I’m glad that I’ve been around to help, I also resented losing control over how I spent my time. The stress of it all reached its peak after my dad started to struggle with his breathing, and his team of doctors decided that performing a heart quadruple bypass surgery was the only option he had to solve the problem. All of my siblings flew in from around the world to offer our parents support, surprising my dad. Suddenly, after almost 50 years of partnership, my mom was facing the possibility that my dad may not make it through a serious surgery and grueling recovery.
It was during this time that I realized that we didn't have a recent family portrait. Every family get together, time seems to get away from me and the portrait is put off until the next visit. With all of my siblings and our children finally in one place, I decided that I would have to do a portrait session in Dad’s hospital room.
The night before Dad’s surgery, we all gathered into his room. It was a real challenge to get the shot, but I was determined that I had to.
Thankfully, after six weeks in the hospital and two weeks in rehab, my dad came home to his new home about ten minutes away from us. He still has a long road to recovery ahead, but is making progress everyday. Although this has been a stressful time for my entire family, there was joy to be found—my siblings’ unexpected vacation, a reunited family, cousins playing together. We laughed, cried, and reminisced. We were a family.
Don’t put off that portrait. You owe it to your family to capture and preserve a moment in time. Because tomorrow is not promised to any of us.