Just the other day I was filming a wedding when during the Couple’s Formals part of the day, the Bride looks me straight in the eyes and asked me “How do you still have a smile on your face?” During the day, we got talking about life quite a bit, and she learned a couple things about me that she didn’t know before. Some things that some could/would use as an excuse to not show up to work, or to just be miserable in general.
Some of my readers know a little about my life, but not many people know the whole story. I should maybe do what I’ve been told so many times before and write a book.
I come from a broken home, with a severely abusive and neglectful father. For a long time I kept that to myself, because I doesn’t define me, but I am who I am in spite of that challenge. When I was in my teens I spent some time homeless, I spent some time in Foster Care, and lots of time bouncing around from one friend’s house to another as I struggled to find stability. All of this while Never quite understanding how broken I truly was. There were three main people in my life that helped me realize that I was not a lost cause, I had just taken a few wrong turns and needed to find my way back to the road.
Just a few years ago, as my father was slowly dying, I was also diagnosed with the same disease that was destroying his lungs and liver. A genetic disease for which there is no cure. In 2016 my father lost his fight. For 10 years I didn’t speak a word to him. I hated him for ruining me and stealing my childhood from me. The last few years of his life I had finally forgiven him and we started to repair our broken fences.
In 2018 I have spent more time going to doctor after doctor doing routine check ups, until my liver doctor decided he wanted to do a biopsy. We learned that my liver was progressing faster than once expected, and that I may only have 3-5 years to live. You read that right. While at first it was quite devastating to hear, it has been almost liberating to know that I might not be around much longer. We have a great life insurance policy that will cover my expenses when I am gone, and leave the family enough to live off of for a while. Death is not the end, it only the beginning of a new chapter.
Rather than laying down and accepting defeat, I would rather stand up and make memories. With my own family, and with the families that I work with. There is a reason that I am a photographer/videographer. I see things in a different way, in a way that allows me to capture little moments in the lifetime of a family that they get to cherish forever. I think that by seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, gives you perspective on the important things in life. I am so grateful to do what I do each and every day. No matter how difficult things get, someone always has it worse than you.
Just recently I was at the Temple filming for a wedding when someone I was with asked me why I was ok to leave some of my camera gear where I left it. My response, “if someone feels the need to steal it, they obviously need it more than me”.