A few months ago, Kate emailed me that she was pregnant, due near Christmas and wanted newborn photos. We had kept a little in touch with Facebook and Instagram. I was as excited getting that email as I would be with a close friend or relative. I could see them as such amazing parents and knew how excited they and Kate’s mom would be (I remember a particular conversation we had about grandchildren-Kate’s mom is also unbelievably amazing). I sent an email to follow up with her about some random stuff we had talked about and about the newborn shoot last week. I never heard back which I thought was strange, but figured she may be busy. I had a plan to follow up this week. Two weeks ago, I got an email from Dan. Apparently, Kate passed away suddenly on October 31 and her daughter was born two months early. As I read his words, I was shocked and devastated and I cried. He said he wants to still do pictures because he thinks he will regret it if we don’t go ahead with them. That session will not be an easy one but I will feel so honored to capture this little girl who I know is bringing and will bring so much love to this family who needs it right now. I cried on and off for the two days after I read the email and have had moments of incredible sadness since. Kate was only 30, a beautiful soul inside and out and gone too soon.
What all of this does for me is make me more determined to keep living life the way I am. I will not take any day for granted. I will continue to do what I love, travel and have beautiful experiences with people I love, and help anyone I can. I will keep peace and love in my heart and share that with others. I simply have NO time for anger or hate anymore. I’ve experienced the result of those two feelings to an extreme and I don’t want them in me or my life. I’ve been reminded through the recent attacks and through conversations with other survivors that I’ve come very far from where I was and I’m reminded that most have not found that peace yet. I feel both saddened by this and proud of it. I wish I could help get everyone to the “other side” like I was able to do for myself. For now, I’ll do what I can.
Life is short and LOVE is key while we’re here. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted.
PEACE AND LOVE TO EVERYONE THIS WEEK AND EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR