{The one} where we cry…

I have thought alot about what I was going to say in this post, and a week later, I still don’t know where to start. So, I guess I will start at the beginning. Last summer I was contacted by Stephanie to have photos taken of her and her fiancee. She was coming to visit family from Wyoming, and they wanted to get some current photos of the two of them while they were here. See, Matt and Stephanie were soulmates, had known each other for 12 years, and while legally they were not married- in there eyes, they were. But now, all these years later they were going to do it for real- the wedding that everyone had wanted. After Stephanie got back to Wyoming, the wedding became one overwhelming BIG day- and more than either of them wanted, so they were going to elope- and do it THEIR way. I was so happy for them, the love, the anticipation of the new roads they would venture down together. Then Stephanie called to give me more good news- she was expecting a baby boy. Her and Matt did not think they could have children- a miracle it must be! The wedding was on hold, they wanted to wait till the new baby was here, so he could be part of the joyous day. Plans were pending, it was a perfect plan!
On December 6th, I got a call, a frantic call- at first I did not know who it was. When I re-listened to the message, I realized it was Stephanie, and something had happened to Matt… A smooth patch of black ice…thats all it was, and tragically it took Matts life. She had called me because I had the most recent pictures of Matt, and she needed them- needed them for the funeral, needed them for her, and needed them for the son she was carrying who would never know his daddy. I listened to her weep, and I weeped with her, my heart broke for all her pain, for her children’s pain, and for the road I knew she would travel, alone.
So, I kept tabs on her, making sure she knew that I was there, if she needed anyone, or anything- though what could I do? I felt hopeless…and at the same time, thankful. I had an enormous reminder how short life can be, how important it is to be thankful for everything you have, and to cherish the small things- a snuggle with your new baby, a story with your 6 year old before bed, a kiss from your loved one, a call from your brother- so small, so insignificant, but moments that when you add them all up- are your LIFE.
Stephanie came back again this summer, and we got together- to photograph her new beginning. Her son, born in June, was 8 weeks old, and well, he needed to be photographed, celebrated- cherished! I know this road has been a long one for Stephanie and her children, for all of Matt’s family. And truthfully, its just the beginning. But as I watched Stephanie with her new baby, and with her older children, I realized how poignant it all was. Not perfect, not the way she planned, or wanted, but her family. She is an amazing woman, taking on more than I can ever imagine. I know the road ahead is a long one, but from what I have seen of her, she will handle it with grace and poise, and in the end know that she did an amazing job! Stephanie, I want to say Thank You for being a blessing in my life, for all that you have given me, and for reminding me how important each day is. I hope to be half the mom you are, and I hope you know how proud I am of you, and how thankful I am to have you as a friend! I look forward to a lifetime of new memories.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    Well now I am crying again after reading your blog. Thank you for seeing so much in me. I don’t feel as strong as you think I am, as you know. But I am so grateful to have had you by my side through this HUGE tradgedy in my life. I could never put into words what it has meant to me. You have been a rock for me to lean on or cry to anytime I needed and I would not be where I am without you and everything you have done and said. As for the pics I love them. #2 is so precious, I am definitley ordering that one. The outdoor ones of him turned out amazing, he is so cute. The ones of Jordyn, Kaylee and Logan are so good. Logan is going to love his blue hair. The girls look adorable. Thank you for everything. You are an amazing and gifted photographer that has become an amazing and gifted friend. I also look forward to many years of memories with you.

  2. Mark says:

    I must say the photos are great but the words are so very true. I know this one was important to get right Kel and you did an amazing job. I hope Stephanie knows that she is never alone and Someone is always walking with her…even though it may be hard to believe right now. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.

  3. Andi Diamond says:

    As I knew they would be, the images are breathtaking. Also as I knew you would be Kel- you are heartfelt, kind, giving, and incredibly special. Stephanie, your family is beautiful! Though we do not know each other, Kelly has shared your story and you are in my prayers. May you find strength in time and memories, and create new memories to share!

  4. Crytal says:

    Even though I already knew Stephanie’s story, I’ve found myself brought to tears again. Maybe it’s hearing it from someone else’s perspective, or maybe it’s just because in the end, it makes me cry no matter who tells it…I’m really not sure. Either way, I want to say thank you for sharing your perspective, and for bringing these much-needed memories into existence. The photos are amazing, and I know that they will bring smiles for years to come for everyone who knows and loves this family.

  5. Ryan says:

    Stephanie,

    I’m not that good with words nor do I have the strength that you do to share my feelings about this tragedy, I know what he means to you as you know what he means to me. I know that you will find many of rocks along the way to lean on as you have many of people who really love and care for you!

    The pictures are all very beautiful and I cant wait to see Micah again.

    Your friend always
    Ryan C.

    Footsteps In The Sand

    One night a man had a dream.
    He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
    Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
    For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand:
    one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

    When the last scene of his life flashed before him
    he looked back, at the footprints in the sand.
    He noticed that many times along the path of his life
    there was only one set of footprints.
    He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

    This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it:
    “LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you,
    you’d walk with me all the way.
    But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
    there is only one set of footprints.
    I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.”

    The LORD replied:
    “My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you,
    During your times of trial and suffering,
    when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

    Author unknown

  6. stacy says:

    I always say I can’t even imagine …..I’m sure you felt the same and look at all of you making it through. I hope you journal so you can see how far you’ve come and how strong you truly are. Stephanie my heart goes out to you and your adorable kiddos – we’ll keep you in our prayers.

  7. Ram says:

    Jenny P – I have been fallowing for quite some time and I haven’t posetd a comment. I have to say that I LOVE your work. It is beautiful! It is how I want my day remembered, the laughter, the tears, and being beautiful. I don’t know about anyone else but I want to remember my day like no other and you captured their day perfectly. I feel like I was there and I want to feel like that every time I see my wedding pictures even 30 50 years from now. Again Great Photography.

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