I’ll never forget the day that Callie stepped out of the studio to take a phone call, to come back inside crying with some heart wrenching news.
“I just found out that Jamie’s Dad has been diagnosed with ALS.”
We stopped what we were doing, hugged her, and cried with her. We asked what we could do, but we all felt helpless, because as of right now there is no cure. But we do know a God who heals, so we did the one thing we could do: we stopped to pray for Paul and the whole family.
The weeks to follow began a major perspective shift for Callie’s family, as you can imagine. Vacations were planned and rearranged, home renovations began, and what’s truly important came into crystal clear focus.
Work isn’t important.
TV isn’t important.
Undone projects are not important.
FAMILY is important.
HUGGING your Dad and telling him you love him is important.
PRAYING is important.
Spending QUALITY TIME with those you love is important.
FAMILY PHOTOS are important.
One of the very first things that Callie did was reach out to me to schedule family photos. And one thing that struck us all is how rare it is for older families to have portraits taken. It’s the norm for young families to take pictures, but when all the children are grown, it becomes less of a priority (and quite honestly, it’s more difficult to schedule).
But it became crystal clear this was a priority, and when something becomes important like this, you MAKE it happen. Callie knew she wanted to do these quickly, mostly because ALS is especially difficult to navigate because there is no predictable timeline. Every person who is diagnosed has different symptoms appear at different times, so it’s important to make the most of the time while life and health haven’t changed very much.
I’ll be honest – I was a bit nervous before this session. I know this precious family, I’m good friends with Callie and Jamie, and I’ve photographed their family before at the wedding. I love Paul and Jane so much. I ultimately wanted them to not feel awkward, but to just have a good time and enjoy one another’s company.
It turned out beautifully.
Everyone was relaxed and joyful. The light was gorgeous. There were puppies and one adorable grandbaby. And these photos will mean more to this family than I could ever put into words on a blog.
Callie came into the studio the very next week, and as she began to thank me for the gift of photos, she began to cry.
“You have no idea what this means to me and my family.”
As photographers, it put everything into perspective. We really are capturing legacies and doing such meaningful work, whether or not we realize it on a daily basis.
Our prayer is that these photos and this new perspective encourages you to do what really matters. Make TIME for what’s important. Plan vacations with your family, make memories, hug your loved ones a little closer today. And say a prayer for Paul and the Davis family as they navigate this new chapter in their journey.
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