It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. My sweet friend Jodi passed away last week following a long, courageous battle with breast cancer. I am rejoicing that I will see Jodi again one day, but know that I, like so so many others, will miss her greatly until that time.
There was NO ONE with a laugh like Jodi’s. It had a way of creeping into me (even on Mondays!) and lifting my spirits until I couldn’t help but laugh right along! I remember her love for her family – what a great wife and mother she was! She spent long hours planning wonderful birthday parties for her girls. She included her husband, Robert, in the festivities. Each year, they would play a game one might call “Where’s Robert?” In the dark with flashlights, the girls would search and search. One time, it seemed HOURS before they found Robert, sitting quietly (and with great soreness, I presume) high overhead in a tree. My daughter remembers singing and doing hand motions to VBS songs in their car, Jodi at the wheel. (I hope she resisted the urge to do hand motions!) Jodi cheered energetically for her two daughters, Hannah and Mariah, during countless basketball games. And she cheered many of us on in the game of life. In the midst of trials that seemed to just keep coming, Jodi saw the best, hoped for the best, and remained thankful and faithful. I’ve learned much from her.
When Jodi was diagnosed two years ago and was facing treatments, I suggested that we do a family session before she lost her hair. I had hoped to go back and do an updated session after she BEAT that ugly disease. Sadly, that was not to be. Looking back, I am so, SO happy we did that session. And I remind you, gentle readers, (and myself, as well!) that portraits are important. Snapshots are important. Memories are important. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a family session, or have been putting one off, please make the effort. At least gather your families and have someone take a few snapshots that include YOU. (You know who you are: the one who is always behind the camera.) I know these images of Jodi are treasured by her family and friends. And I am so thankful to have them, as well. Please take time. It’s WORTH the effort.
I would ask that you keep Jodi’s family in your thoughts and prayers as they celebrate her life but miss her daily presence more than words can express.
We will see you again, sweet friend. xo
P.S. I am fortunate to participate in a group of gifted and gracious photographers that comprise I Picture Hope, an organization dedicated to providing complimentary portraits for women battling or surviving breast cancer. Please contact me or I Picture Hope (http://www.ipicturehope.camilledenae.com/) if you would like more details.