Jaylene and I have known each other for over 15 years. We met in college and have stayed connected ever since. When we finished college "Jay" moved to Denver with some mutual friends and I moved to Minneapolis. Just a few months later I decided Denver was where I needed to be. I packed up all my belongings and headed to live near my bestie. However, after just one short year Jay decided "home" was where she needed to be and she left Denver to marry her one true love, Robbie.
Jay and Robbie have continued to live in that small home town in Minnesota. However, Jay's mom (Judy) and step-dad (Steve) reside here in Colorado. It has been wonderful to continue to connect when they come to visit. It may just be a quick lunch here or brewery tour there, but we always pick up just where we left off.
Jay and her family arrived in Colorado on December 22nd to celebrate Christmas here this past year. Jay noticed some changes in her mom and was concerned for her health. On December 23rd as we continued to discuss our last minute lunch plans for Christmas Eve, everything changed. Earlier that day Jay had urged her mom to head to the doctor in Fort Collins, just to confirm everything was "ok." What everyone thought may take just an hour our two turned into several hours of uneasy anticipation. The questions started to run through their mind, whats really wrong with mom?
After spending the entire day in Fort Collins, in and out of different doctors offices and the hospital, Judy and Steve were headed home to tell their family the dreadful news. Judy has pancreatic cancer. How could they possibly break this news to their family when they had plans to gather around the Christmas tree and open gifts with all the ones they loved?
While the adults hid their tears and fought back their emotions they gave the grandchildren the Christmas they had hoped for. The news could be shared with the kids on a different day. Later that week the children were told that Grandma was sick but they continued to try and make the most of their trip.
This family is very near to my heart and I suggested we tackle a photo session before Jay and her family headed home. It may have been one of the hardest sessions I have ever captured but it will always be one of the most memorable too. The preview below shows the true joy and love this family has for one another. I am so honored to have met them so many years ago. I am also grateful they allowed me to capture these powerful images during their time or sorrow.
I entered the image above into free world wide photography contest. It shows such true love without words. This is "capturing your life as it happens." Over 412,000 images were entered into this particular contest. This image was voted upon by photographers around the world as well as individuals like you. In the end it was ranked in the top 3% of all submissions. True love conquers all!!
A big thank you also goes out to Osborn Farm for allowing us to use their property on such last minute notice. They were very accommodating and we couldn't have had a more perfect location to shoot these images.