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How to Make Your Own Silver Lining

What an amazing morning it is here in Oklahoma, in my little space of comfort, in my office. As I sit here and look at a computer screen to edit a maternity session, reply to emails, etc. there is a soft rain falling and a light breeze blowing and birds chirping. The only thing missing is my coffee! I am trying desperately to cut back on my coffee but it is just so comforting. I know it may be strange but I love rainy Monday mornings. Isn’t there a song about that? The Carpenters, right? Anyway, I feel refreshed, time to start a new day, a new week. Time to find a new motivation and dedication.

Something that has been popping back up in my heart is a project that I started working on last year after my mother passed away, entirely too young, from cancer. I named it “The Emma Project” after my mother. So I am going to get back to making this project that has lived in my mind and my heart and in the bottom drawer of my desk for far too long.

When my mother was first diagnosed we talked about having a family portrait made. A portrait of her, her children and grandchildren. The idea was thrown around a few times in the 2 years she had left with us. But I regretfully never made it happen. I very regretfully never made the call to a photographer, I never set up my tripod, I never even took a selfie of the two of us during this time. I’m not sure if it was a subconscious decision to protect myself from the realization that I may be taking the final photographs with my mother or another real possibility is that I really never thought she would leave us. I really never thought she wouldn’t be here. So I didn’t make it a priority.

But I want to make it a priority for other families. I have had many different ideas for this project. I thought about making a book, sharing these images, taking donations to for cancer charities, etc. But in it’s final evolution I have decided to make this a completely free service that I give to families so that they may live without this one regret and have images that they can cherish and use to tell the story of their mother after she is unable to tell it herself.

I am offering FREE family portraits to families that are faced with the indescribable diagnosis of terminal cancer of a family member. I am still working on ironing out details and how I will make this service available to people but it is in progress and I hope to start the project in full effect by the end of this summer.

Here is one of the last pictures of me with my mother. She was sick when we took this picture but she was still undiagnosed and feeling as if she was fighting a very bad flu. She was the epitome of don’t complain, just keep going, there are people doing much more with much less. I love her!


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  • June 9, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    pam K. - What a wonderful project and a beautiful way to help families. Your mother is quite proud. Love to you, Shannon, and the kids. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • June 9, 2014 - 6:00 pm

      Mary - Thank you so much Pam!ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2014 - 8:09 pm

    Mandy Conner - I adore everything about this! Giving of yourself and your time freely to others is a gift that lasts a lifetime.ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2014 - 11:04 pm

    Michelle - What a blessing you are!ReplyCancel