The Important Moments - In Memoriam

I didn't say goodbye to my grandmother, but I did look her in the eyes and tell her how much I loved her before I caught my flight home. I spent a short week at home with my parents in late October, just 1 week following her diagnosis with late stage pancreatic cancer. Not once during that week did we talk about anything melancholy - even the days were bright and unusually warm for Calgary in late fall.

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My family is small, with a polite closeness between us. We're traditional photo opportunists with every birthday and Christmas filed away in the family album. Photos have always been important to me. Lasting mementos. And I simply cannot pass up documenting moments, because without them I am lost.

Photography is as much a part of my identity as my relationships - both are entwined. As I reflect on my life I cannot help but wonder how many families, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, lose the opportunity to record their important moments for those who cannot remember.

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In her last days, my only gifts were photographs - tidbits of daily life through an aesthetic lens meant to share as a blessing. I am thankful for what I have, even more thankful for what I have had, and overwhelmingly grateful to be able to passionately create what I can. 

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As I gingerly tried to find beauty in a painful situation, I witnessed what unconditional love truly looks like. Not beauty in a traditional sense, but in emotion - tenderness, compassion and empathy.

I will always remember how much she loved and cared for me. I will always strive to show love like I was shown, in moments like these.