I had a lady come into work today that I'm sure I will not forget for a very long time. The first thing she did was warn me. She warned me that this photo session was going to be different for me, that emotions were going to run high and that I must excuse them if things don't go according to a 'usual' plan. I didn't mind. I like to shake things up a bit and they were one of my last sessions of the night.
I have to say, I held back tears all evening long.
She told me that she was meeting her granddaughter for the very first time. She had four others there with her but this one had been denied by it's father (her son) although there was clear evidence pointing otherwise. So she walked in and there were tears and one scared little girl and we took pictures and everytime I snapped a photo, she cried. They were all there together and that memory was going to get to stay with her because this session was taking place. I could barely hold back the tears myself.
They gave the little girl presents there, shared hugs and pieces of gum. I felt so blessed to be witnessing such a beautiful little miracle of love and togetherness. It was clear that all this lady wanted was to be a part of her granddaughter's life even while having so many others surrounding her.
So she continued.
She continued to tell me that her husband had just found out earlier in the week that he was going to have to have a heart transplant. She told me that the insurance was threatening to drop them and that although they will cover the surgery itself, they refuse to cover any of the medication that he has to take to prepare for it. She said they'd already spent $20,000. She just kept crying. I again, could barely hold back.
So we picked out our favorite pictures and she placed her order and I swear she told me a million times that I had such amazing patience. I swear it's not true although I hear it all the time. Then she went to tell me that she had 4 children, all of them with children...none of them married. And one son without any children whom she worries so much about because he's so innocent and loving and God-fearing, that she fears he will never find someone to love.
I told her not to worry and to keep praying. God has answers to all of her concerns.
Then I did cry. I cried as they walked away and I heard them plan exchanging the pictures while her son was away at drill. I cried at how sad the situation was and how much I wished I could help this lady. But all I could do was pray and so I did...and I know it will help, even if she doesn't know so.