It’s interesting to me that when I’m in the moment and I have a job to do – I focus on the job and get the job done. I don’t let the enormity of any emotional depth weigh too heavy. I’m light on my feet and light in my heart.
But here I drive off with tears in my eyes and nostalgia welled up inside.
When I was in seventh grade, my friend, neighbor and walk-to-school buddy Alyssa was diagnosed with cancer. Not thinking too seriously about it, I missed her at school. A few short weeks later, she died – and the tragedy and reality of cancer and death hit me like a ton of bricks.
I remember balling uncontrollably for days and even more at her funeral. I remember her parents and siblings were so composed that day. I remember thinking they were so strong. My little twelve-year-old head had no idea.
The following months and years were probably the most difficult the Pataky’s ever saw or knew. But together, they made it through. And together, they still continue. They remember Alyssa openly. They honor her vividly. And they love her and this beautiful world she left more freely than I’ve ever known love to fly.
So tears burn my eyes now. But during our shoot together, I was light on my feet and light in my heart. Because that’s the way the Pataky’s roll. They savor each and every moment, as heavy as it may be. Because life is too short to not savor every moment, every bite, every drop of goodness that flows abundantly in this beautiful world of ours. Like the Pataky’s, I think we should all remember more openly, honor more vividly and love more freely. Together, we can make it through.
*note: the pink roses and sunflowers in each shot represent Alyssa