Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Thousand Words

Late Wednesday night, my Aunt Helen and cousin Kirsten again made the trek from New Jersey to our house so that they could help out on Thursday, that day I spent at the hospital (and described in yesterday's post). While Annabel snuggled at home with Auntie Lauren, Helen and Kirsten took Teddy on a day of nonstop adventure, including bowling (Teddy claims, and documents show, he won by one stroke), McDonald's, and the bead store. Between my doctors appointments, my Mom and I laughed at the adorable photos that Kirsten texted us. At first, this one was my first favorite, although I had to gulp at the realization that my son is already wearing a size 12 shoe.  

Then when this photo came in, it was my favorite. Not only because I love that Teddy insisted on wearing his Jacoby Ellsbury shirt backwards so that "the number was in the front," but because I love that this kid had so much fun at the bead store, when we haven't been able to pull him away from baseball, hockey, golf, basketball, or soccer all summer. Most of all, I love this photo because it's my son spending a day with my aunt and my cousin, and loving every moment of it.  

When we got home, Brianne came over and with Kirsten and Brianne together, things start to feel like a party. (Of course we were missing Rachel but she arrived last night and I always wake up happier knowing she's in town.) 

Around dinner time, my dear friend from law school arrived. Somehow in addition to her career as an attorney, Jennifer found time to start her own photography business. When she heard about my diagnosis, she asked me if I would like her to shoot some family photos as a gift I could enjoy as I carried out my treatment. Jennifer is just the kind of positive energy I want around me so a visit from her is welcome any time, but a photo shoot sounded interesting. I had seen her excellent work and remembered that I have two, maybe three photos of all four of us from this year, so I jumped at the offer. Then I upped the ante -- I asked her if she'd be interested in documenting this journey in photographs. I was thrilled when she agreed. So as I continue through my treatment and towards my goal of total recovery, I will post photos by this most talented woman. This is the first installment of a few that I wanted to share. 

When I first thought about these photos, I tagged them the "Before" shots. You know, before a plastic surgeon remakes parts of my body, before my hair falls out, before the chemo ages me. But now as I really think about it, I don't like that term. These photos are me, my family, my friends, on our life journey, not exactly before or after any one thing. Of course, there will be a huge milestone on that journey - when I become cancer-free - but our journey has included and will include other great milestones, many of them long after cancer. It'd be silly to boil these precious photos down to "Befores" and "Afters" (as much as I love those on make-over and home remodeling shows). It'd be better to boil them down to what they really are - snapshots of a precious night with some of my family and friends.  

So, on a blog mostly shaped by words, this one is about photos. Photos that really do tell more than I could ever write.  

Brian, taking a few moments for a kiss before returning to the
kitchen to make us all dinner. (Seriously, I snagged a keeper.) 

Aunt Helen, Kirsten, me, and my Mom
Brianne and me with the kiddos

Auntie Woof and Uncle Seamus



  1. You are so beautiful, T. Jennifer was such a pleasure to meet and the photos are beautiful-what a gift!!

    Teddy did beat me fair and square (3 times!!) and I can't wait to bead and shrinky dink with him again! (my hip is sore from bowling and trying out Teddy's special wind up!)

    Love you so much and wish we were still there. xoxo

  2. Beautiful photos Tara! Your friends and family are all amazing and beautiful people. Xoxo

  3. Tara, Thank you for giving me the honor of capturing the beauty of your journey. I'm looking forward to many more special moments to enjoy and share. I'm glad you see these as more than 'before' pictures. Through my lens I saw your family lift you up, love you and support you. I see strength. I thought of Dorothy getting her ruby slippers. She had the power all along to get back home in her struggle. Your family and beautiful friends are your ruby slippers......

  4. Just when I thought Fresh Air was my favorite post yet you hit me with this one. Gorgeous photos! How lovely and beautiful.

  5. Beautiful photos Tara!!! You are surrounded by loving friends and family.