Above and BeyondPosted by Lynette on April 22, 2012 at 4:58pm
We have tried to be diligent in getting the word out in the Seattle area that we are available to be of service to families that fall within our guidelines. With the increase in requests it seems we have fulfilled this goal and are now busier than we might have imagined possible.
Thursday, while I was in Orlando working at the National Tay Sacks and Allied Disease Association Family Conference with our East Coast photographer, Sarah Mattingly, I received word from Megan that she had booked an adult shoot for Sunday. In checking emails after our shoots that day Megan had gotten more urgent requests and was booking one for Friday, one more for the weekend and two for the coming week.
I believe that its not only that thru shows and speaking engagements that we are receiving more requests but that our reputation for meaningful photos presented in a thoughtful way has caused those who have received our services to share their thankfulness. This word of mouth reference is certainly a highlight of this work, knowing that we are appreciated and given heartfelt reviews is certainly rewarding.
I am in flight home from Orlando, I 14 carry discs that will be dropped at Lily’s for post production. Sarah will send a hard drive with at least as many families photos in the next days. I was to hand carry her work to Seattle but honestly she worked so hard on a slide show for the families and for worked so many hours shooting that her images will arrive in a day or two.
On Tuesday we host our annual work party to construct all the photo albums that will be needed for the families in the coming year. We have named this yearly event in honor of our beloved friend, bookkeeper and Soul Grandma, Shirley Schulke who passed away recently. Shirley loved the albums and I must say they are beautiful and lovingly created by many caring people. We will work from morning until night to complete this task. We will work with beautiful papers donated by many friends including those from our friends in Tokyo and another large donation in honor of a Soul child. My sister is providing morning fare as well as pizza and a Soul family has donated for the drinks. Others are bringing desserts as well as more paper. I am excited to welcome my best friend from high school, Patsy from Sequim who has graciously offered to work the entire day and spend the night.
Since my plane left at 8 AM I was up early and leaving quietly from the convention center in Florida. I had called back my Haitian cab driver from my arrival as he was such a good driver and had obviously relocated after the disaster. As I waited and during the drive I had time to reflect on the fact that this year we lost a number of treasured children, many of my good friends whose children had passed away were not in attendance and now Sarah and I had met and been welcomed by new families. Its definitely an honor to be part of the National Tay Sacks and Allied Disease Family Conference, but its also not to be taken lightly. These children are beautiful beings, their families moving thru their days selflessly attending to them. The fact that Sarah and I received the “Above and Beyond” Award because we were nominated by two moms, Oralea and Julie makes it even more poignant. I think Sarah would agree that these children and adults are now a part of our lives, hard to ever imagine not embracing the opportunity to be of service. We used to attend the conference every other year but it seems to be evolving into a yearly trip. Soulumination is so very thankful to the Roberts family, my friends and clients who generously donated the miles so that I could attend the conference.
Today I share two new friends that I met at the conference, Ezra who has an unbelievably rare case of juvenile Sandhoff and Fiona who has a diagnosis of GM-1. Plus I open this missive with a photo of Dylan, my good buddy from past years. Dylan is a joyful kid who enchants with his way of relating to others and his incredibly long eyelashes. I am still reeling from the fact that in giving images to Sarah for the slide show that somehow I did not get images to her of this little charmer. The omission rocked me so hard that I raced out of the banquet to my room just to check and make sure that his images were safely stored in my room safe.
It promises to be a very busy week so watch facebook for updates and check for photos of many other children that were posted while I was at the conference.
With the increase in requests we are most thankful for the donation that arrived in memory of Gavin who was photographed by Jodi. We will need continued support to move forward at this pace. I close tired but happy in the knowledge of a job well done, in love and peace, Lynette
who we serve
We serve families with children, ages 18 & under, facing life-threatening conditions. We also serve families with terminally-ill parents nearing end-of-life, who have children ages 18 & under. Learn more