For those of you who don’t know, I had the honor
of photographing a baby girl this early spring named Charlie.
Charlie was diagnosed with Leukemia at the very beginning
of her life. She has been such an inspiration to
all those who have been following her journey on this long
difficult road. Her parents, Mike + Kelly have been absolutely incredible.
…spending much of the first year of her life in
a hospital, they never ever left her side.
they never ever lost hope or faith.
Charlie’s photo updates were something I looked
forward to daily. She seemed to be giving the disease
a run for it’s money…showing Leukemia that she
was much tougher than it could be.
…She even went into remission for some time.
I’ve known Mike since high school, but I waited patiently
to have the opportunity to photograph Charlie.
Mike contacted me before Mother’s Day and wanted to surprise
Kelly with a Mother’s Day session for her and Charlie.
It was by far the most difficult and inspiring session I have ever had
or will ever have. I was in complete awe of them as
a family. You could feel the pain in their hearts,
but you were overwhelmed with the hope and faith they still had.
Charlie wasn’t used to being outside with the wind blowing
and the sun shining so we didn’t have a whole lot of
time together, but I loved watching her snuggle with Kelly.
…and the little tiny giggles & smiles when Kelly would sing
her the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
…and being a witness to a true Daddy’s Girl.
But in that short amount of time I was
forever changed. Forever inspired.
I was a witness to a strength I’ve never personally known.
a love I’ve only just begun to dream of.
a bond that’s unbreakable.
a bravery beyond words.
…and now an unimaginable pain.
Charlie lost her battle to this awful disease last night.
…she passed in the arms of her mother and her father.
Two incredibly special people.
…they are more than just special people,
they are very special parents. Because of them, the time that
Charlie did have here was meaningful, inspirational and life altering
to all those who knew her, and loved her.
My wish for Mike + Kelly is that they get the time
that they need to grieve this immense loss in their own way.
I also pray that over time, the ways in which Charlie made her mark
on this world will come to light in all different ways.
…to be a reminder of the beautiful baby girl they created,
and the ways in which she changed the lives of the people
who loved her.
Mike + Kelly,
I am so deeply sorry for the pain & suffering you’re feeling.
Words could never do justice to how much I wish that each
and every one of us could take this pain from you both.
I truly feel so blessed that I was able to document even a small
part of the beauty and the strength that was Charlie.
…She was so very very lucky to have been born to
two of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure
My deepest sympathies,
…they are with you.