Many of you already know, I just want explain why I slowed things down business wise last year and my hiatus the last couple of months.
The last 9 months or so, I slowed my business down (purposefully), just taking enough business to cover overhead on some months. My Aunt Kathryn, who was 81, needed some help. She and my Uncle had never had any children of their own. Her doctor had told her she had arthritis in her leg and started her on physical therapy, but unfortunately it turned out to be stage IV Lymphoma. She needed a new femur, knee, chemotherapy and radiation. My uncle has a bit of Alzheimer’s and without Kate there, needed some assistance as well as he no longer drives. She asked me to help her. I have quite literally, a million cousins (almost). I never asked her why she asked me in particular, but proximity wise, I am closest and do not work 9-5, so I suspect that had a lot to do with it. It was certainly not my organizational skills or ability to stay calm in difficult situations. 🙂 After starting this journey with her, it became clear that I would have to make some adjustments. I couldn’t do everything and do it well, as many of you understand. Sometimes you just need to take time and simplify.
We made many, many trips to get her treatment on a stretcher that my father softly padded with lawn chair pillows, all with a femur that was broken in half and in pieces. She would lay in that stretcher for 5-6 hours for chemotherapy because it hurt too much to be moved. She was a stoic lady, not often complaining. She could always manage to make those around her laugh during these hard and uncomfortable times. The drivers of the stretcher van said she was their favorite client. She would be suspended in the air on a lift to get her into a wheelchair and joking about how she hated heights. A true inspiration and class act. After 6 months of exhausting treatment and major surgery, she decided she to place herself in hospice. Her oncologist told me he was going to miss seeing her because she felt like a grandmother to him and like family after just a few months. She passed on January 22, 2016, as unexpectedly as someone on hospice can, she sounded and looked great a few days before that day. I truly feel blessed to have been a part of her journey and really get to know her, having learned innumerable life lessons. I feel clued in to making my contribution and have a deeper appreciation for this life and my loved ones. I no longer sweat the small stuff so much, as she would say.
I have not done any marketing, blogging or SEO in a long while to keep momentum going, but will be shooting full time again in March. I appreciate the patience of my clients during this time period. I tried to accommodate past clients having a second baby and baby planners, but I know I did take longer at getting things back, so I appreciate your patience. I just want to thank my talented newborn photographer friends in Kansas City for taking referrals and helping in a couple of emergency situations (you know who you are). I appreciate your friendship and kindness so much. I want to thank my dad for being there for Kate, Loring, and for me. He took on a lot in the last year as well, taking good care of Loring and alternating radiation appointments. I don’t know what we would have done without his help. Always there without fail. The troubleshooter and soundboard. Thank you, Chris for being supportive of me taking care of things and me.
Lymphoma is an awful disease and is silent. Not one time during these last 9 months did Kate look ill to me. Pay attention to things in your body that don’t seem right: sudden night sweats, fatigue,and pains. Get second opinions for a diagnosis that doesn’t seem right to you. Speak up.
Miss you and love you, Auntie.