A picture is worth a thousand words…

A few years ago, well I think it was at least 5 years ago, if not longer, but the exact timing is lost on me, my grandma (my Dad’s mom) gave me a scarf. It wasn’t my birthday or a holiday. It was just a gift. She said she saw it and thought it was perfect for me. I thought it slightly odd at the time because of the design on the scarf, but kept it with the rest of my scarves ever since. I wore it once or twice a year to show support and it always made me feel a little closer to her.

My fabulously artistic friend, Seema – who created the symbol that defines Red Phoenix, is also a talented photographer (amazing, isn’t she?!). I was lucky enough to have her take maternity photos and even monthly photos of my little man to show his growth over the first year of his life. When she approached me about taking pictures before beginning treatment, I was on the fence. I wasn’t sure if it would be harder to take pictures than not. Did I really want to see the “me” before beginning treatment? Would I want to look at them again? What do they really represent?

I decided to do it – if for nothing more than to draw closure on the person that I was before treatment. Before this battle. Before beating cancer.

My big sister bought a dress for her honeymoon almost a decade ago. It was perfectly themed for her Hawaii vacation and she looked amazing in it. So amazing, that the other 3 sisters began “borrowing” it regularly ever since. We joke that it is the “sisterhood of the traveling dress” because it is regularly passed between New York, Georgia and Florida. The dress happened to be in my closet this past weekend and it seemed like the perfect choice for these pictures.

Taking the pictures was fun. We decided to return to where Seema took our maternity photos, which also happens to be my happy place – the beach. The sun was just about to set and little man wanted to jump in the water and splash around, which he did despite being clothed. We wore green since it was Saturday and that’s what we do on Saturdays now. Little man was dressed in his TMNT outfit – our little superhero.

The night was breathtakingly beautiful and the weather was perfect despite it being the middle of summer in Florida. Seema snapped away and kept us laughing the whole time, which helped to keep the tone of the evening light and fun.

The picture taking wasn’t as emotional as I had anticipated. There weren’t any tears and it seemed like a nice walk on the beach with a great friend (plus the addition of a camera).

Until I saw the pictures. I cried. A lot. She captured everything that I am feeling, as a person and as a family, in these pictures. It’s as if she could reach in and expose my inner self through her lens.

I’ve shared some of the pictures in this post. Simply because I think the images that Seema was able to capture speak volumes. Enjoy!

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