The bed was unmade, my face make-up less, I had fallen asleep in an old tie-dyed shirt of his. We only had a few quick quiet moments before we both had to start getting ready for the day. Yet still, I let go of control, forgot about making the perfect family portrait, and simply put the camera in his hands. Right away I could feel these images carried something special, something so honest that it felt like a little piece of my heart. There was something that told me "This. This will be important."
Often I hear married couples or parents say, "oh those days before kids! I can only faintly remember the people we were," or "everything changes as you get older". And most certainly they are hitting on something there. As we become parents our roles change. We trade them in our old titles for the honor of being a Mother or Father. A truly beautiful turning point where your focus changes to complete unconditional love and care of another, the ultimate act of service.
My beautiful Grandma, who passed away recently, wore the badges of Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother with grace and pride. Certainly she loved her family deeply. But as we went to visit her in hospice, what she wanted to talk about was those love filled days when she first met Donald. I have heard these stories many times. My grandfather died when I was young, so from her stories I can perfectly picture this young handsome army man who came in and swept her off her feet. But my grandma on the other hand, I could only ever picture her in her current role, Grandmother.
After her passing I was able to collect some old images. I can't even begin to explain the blessings these images carry. I have always believed that moments can be filled with something sacred, something divine. Yet I always found these moments to be only ours to hold. But as I stared at this picture of my grandma and grandpa in the messy first five minutes of their day I was connecting to a woman I had known my whole life in an entirely new way.
So LETS TELL REAL STORIES. Not only because they matter now, but for future generations. These stories become our artifacts, the fragments we leave behind for those we love. The truth outshines every single imperfection.
I was inspired to get in front of the camera in the first five minutes in Michelle Gardella's define school course, Family Tapestry. Even if you are not a photographer I highly recommend it if you are looking for a way to inspire an open, honest, creative environment in your home.