PNW Family unites in the face of cancer and carry their memories of their father, husband, brother. This was one of the hardest sessions I’ve ever gotten to photograph, but while shooting I was reminded of my late Grandmother Audrey who worked very hard, created art, and was unfortunately diagnosed with the same terminal cancer that this man has been diagnosed with. She passed away from her pancreatic cancer when I was 18.
During the shoot, I felt her presence. It was like she was nudging me whispering, “This is your purpose, this is what you need to capture in life.” That something is the love family members have when they receive the worst news, a diagnosis of terminal cancer. You do everything to rally around the family member and enjoy the last moments. I left the session not upset, but proud of what I captured. It was like I put film in my camera and the session had a life of it’s own.
Later that day I realized it was my Grandma’s birthday, and she would have been 94 (you can’t make this stuff up!). It’s a joy to get that feeling that those family members who passed on could be here with us watching. The weekend I photographed this meaningful family’s session was fortuitous, not only because they all came from out of town, but also because his health is now declining and a photo shoot would no longer be possible. The gift of images will last a lifetime and I’m so thankful our paths crossed. It was meant to be.
Cancer comes in all shapes and different sizes. In the quest to find a cure when it’s to far along, we won’t let cancer defeat the memories we’ve created on this earth or the memories of those that have taught us and shaped us. Love always endures in our hearts, minds, and body. I know this because as I write I look out my window and see a rainbow. A rainbow that symbolized peace for my Grandmother and the hope and the love she gave to her family. As I’m sure this man has done too for his family.