I know you hear me say it all the time. I love my job. I love my clients. I feel blessed to get to work with such amazing families and clients. The hardest part is our lifestyle. We are all related to the military some how and that often means a lot of good-byes. I have so many clients that I have become close with, and it is so hard now to be away from them as the military has moved us apart. I would love to be in a town with all of you, and get to grow old with you and your children and their children…. That is just the type of person I am. But that is not the life that we are all living right now, so we take the good with the hard. The good meaning I get to meet so many of you that if I lived in that little town…well it just would have never happend. The hard, well the good-byes. I am always wondering what kind of impression I have left on you and your children and hoping that in time we will meet again.
One day a few months ago, while checking my email, the most amazing thing happend. I received an email from Cheryl and Rich, MY VERY FIRST CLIENTS EVER… Ever. The email was so sweet saying that they still loved thier portraits that I took in Okinawa and that they had just moved to RAMSTEIN, GERMANY!! They had seen my ad in the Spotlights magazine and couldn’t believe I was here. I was BEYOND excited to hear from them. I had met them five years ago on the beach in Okinawa and soon after they had moved.
Excitedly we booked a family session for October and as the days got closer the more and more excited I became. I could NOT wait to see the kids and see how much they had grown. I could not wait to wrap my arms around all of them. The day finally came. As they arrived to a MUCH colder day than we had had in Okinawa, the warm feelings were all the same. As each of the kids jumped out of the truck my mouth got wider and wider as I gasped at how much they had grown in the last five years. It was such a great moment. Then we started their session and decided to recreate some of our favorite moments from their Okinawa session. That is when it happend. That is when the circle became full and the sense of love and confirmation that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing was stronger than ever. They wanted to recreate the walking picture from years earlier. So I asked Rich and Cheryl if they remembered what order the kids were in, that is when the kids started chiming in louder than ever…. “Well I was here…and he was standing there”…”No, no you were standing there and she was standing in between Mom and Dad”…even as I write this to you right now I have tears in my eyes. The kids, the KIDS …remember where they were. That picture left such an impression on their hearts that they to this day remember where they each were standing. Mind you, most of them were toddlers when the portrait was taken. The memory was so strong from growing up seeing it displayed on their wall.
I try and share with my clients all the time the importance of having their children up on the wall and what it does for their sense of belonging and self esteem. All in that moment it was so clear to me. We move all the time and that is so hard on our families. But those kids have a picture in their mind of Okinawa, a place that was home to them long ago. They have a picture in their mind of their family and the bond between them as they held hands. They have experienced a strong sense of belonging.
To know I was a part of that. To know that I can give that to our children goes beyond what I knew my heart could feel. So thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your memories. With your children’s memories. Thank you for letting me be such a part of your lives. Please know, I do not take it for granted for a second. That I feel blessed and truly lucky to get to work wtih each of you.
So for today I am thankful for our lifestyle. For getting to meet you and the excitement of seeing you again. For being invited back into your lives year after year….no matter how many years have passed between. For being shown the impression I have left on your families and your children.
Thank you all for blessing my life so fully.
A picture from their very first session can be seen HERE. See how much they have grown.