It’s a New Year and hopefully this one will be joyful and prosperous. Last year we had the misfortune to lose 3 family members. My wife, Marcy lost her Uncle Dan, Aunt Fran and Aunt Judy. I never had the pleasure to meet Marcy’s uncle Dan before his passing and I wish I had. He sounded like a great man. I did have the pleasure to meet Marcy’s Aunt Fran and Aunt Judy.
Marcy’s Aunt Fran passed away spring of last year and I got the chance to meet her two years ago. She was a little over 4ft and a spit fire! I had never seen someone with so much energy and character get around so well. The first time I met her she was wearing a green sweater with green pants. We went out to lunch and as I was trying to help her climb into the SUV we had rented, she kindly said to me “No No! I can get up here just fine,” as she hopped up into the seat!. She reminded me of a little Yoda. I was glad I was able to meet her and capture some photos of her before her passing.
Marcy’s Aunt Judy passed away just before Christmas after a long battle with cancer. We just got back from Florida as we payed our respects at her memorial. I met Aunt Judy at our wedding but I didn’t get to know her until February of last year. Aunt Judy’s son had his first child in December of 2010, so Marcy and I went to visit them all in Maryland. While I was there I was asked if I could take pictures of the family and I was happy to oblige to the request. The visit was filled with laughter, love and memories.
Marcy and I got to see her Aunt Judy one more time last year before her passing. We took our second honeymoon in May of last year at Disney. Aunt Judy along with husband Uncle Mike met us there on one day of our visit for lunch. I thoroughly enjoyed the time hearing stories and learning more about my extended family.
There was an informal memorial gathering for Aunt Judy’s passing. Her husband, Uncle Mike, put together a slideshow of images through the years of their life together. It was very emotional and touching. I almost got a little teary eyed as I saw some of photos I took of Aunt Judy early last year with her husband, son, daughter in-law, and grandson. These were some of the last family portraits that were taken of Aunt Judy with her grandson Dylan.
I make a living from photography and my services don’t necessarily come cheap. Some may look at paying for photography as a luxury or unnecessary expense. You can’t put a price on these memories. Portraits take you back to a place and time you may have once forgotten. They can bring back a flood of emotions you may have not felt in a long time. They can lift your spirits and remind you who you are and where you come from.
Aunt Judy and our other relatives we lost over the past year will be missed but they will not be forgotten! They will forever be in our thoughts but we also have portraits the we can also remember them by. I quote my Uncle Mike as he spoke at Aunt Judy’s memorial, “It’s not about the stuff. The stuff will come and go. It’s all about the memories!”