The word trickled through my core group of girlfriends, my tribe, that there was a diagnosis of breast cancer. We have all been friends since high school, some of us even longer, and the majority of us are still here in California while our sweet friend who had just been diagnosed lives out of state. When something like this happens, the first people you want and need is your family. Like most of us, her family is here in California as well. We knew that even though she was trying to be brave, she needed them. The decision to fly her in to be with her family was a simple one, so we put her on a plane and brought her home.
After we picked her up at the airport, we took her to lunch where we talked about high school and old crushes and who was still married and who had divorced. And we laughed. A lot. Then finally, in a quiet and safe moment, her eyes filled with tears. Letting go of the false bravado, she let all of her fears come to the surface and spill over while us, her tribe, did what we do best: we surrounded her with all the love, faith and hope we could give her. It was at that moment that I picked up my camera and took this photo.
I’ve taken hundreds of those happy photos we all take of babies and families and people. I’m a photographer. It’s what I do. But life is so much more than that, and that’s what I tend to photograph: life in all it’s glorious, raw beauty. It’s also what I tend to do when I can’t really put what I’m feeling into words so I let my camera do the speaking for me. When my grandma was at the end of her days, I documented it with my camera. When my son was critically ill and there was nothing I could do but wait and hope and pray, my camera was my saving grace. So while this photo isn’t your basic posed and happy photo, the love in that photo is undeniable and that, my friends, is everything. It’s what life is all about.
Share with us today your photos depicting life. Tell us a story. We’re listening.