The one thing I am totally in love with is photographing moms with their children. It's a fierce love. It's a tired love. It's a protective and special bond that mothers have with their children and you can see it in their eyes. We are the ones to wake up at night to hold the toddler who just had a nightmare, to change the sheets for the second time, to cuddle up in bed with them. We get up for the 3rd, 4th, 5th time when we are totally exhausted and our eyes won't open anymore. We are the ones who find the lost shoe, sweep up the cheerios, wipe the tears, teach them how to count, and hold the hand of a child who has magically seemed to turn into a preschooler before our eyes.
We feel our heart strings tug when they go to Kindergarten for the first time, then first grade and cry in the audience when their names are announced to go onstage to receive from their diploma. They leave for college and make new friends, while we go home and feel the weight of a quiet house resting on our shoulders.
Babies don't keep...
My family suffered a huge loss, a family and a child, many years before I was born. Even though it was so long ago, I still feel the aftershocks of it some times, especially at holidays like Mother's Day...
I photographed a beautiful group of women in October. They had all lost a baby in various stages of pregnancy from 6 weeks to a 37 week stillborn. You could feel the grief standing on the beach. Although they might not have their babies with them, they are still mothers. Although they can't feel their children with them, they are holding their hands. Although they might have other children, they still have a space in their heart that only holding that child can fill. I am blessed to have met those women and seemed the fierce love they have for their children. You could see the love and pain in their eyes.
They carried reminders of that love from tattoos to bracelets to clothing that their baby had worn...
While we are worried about what gift to get our mothers, some women are dreading Mother's Day. While we shout how much we love our Mothers from the Facebook rooftop, they are silent. Time continues to pass and we seem to forget who they are or we don't mention their child's name in fear of upsetting them. There are some women that hold that grief close to them, who are inately private. They have a fierce love in their hearts but don't have the physical proof standing besides them. And they never forget.
We need to pray for those mothers, to lift them up. We need to remember them, remember their children and how devastatingly brave it is to continue in this world having your child live in Heaven.
"The steadfast love of the lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness."
We love you and your babies.
Happy Mother's Day!