Hello friends…. I know it’s been a bit quiet around here lately…there are so many things on my mind, but, sometimes life throws a few things in your path that require you to push the pause button for a bit.
This past week, my family lost someone very special. My father-in-law, George A. Jump. Husband of 57 years, father of 3, grandpa of 7, and recently a great-grandfather as well. George was a friend to many…always ready with a smile, a handshake, a hug, a way of interacting with others that just made you smile and want to hang out and chat awhile. My husband and I met in high school, and George has been a part of my life for the past 22 years. He’s always treated me like one of his own children….and he’s always cheered me on throughout whatever life venture I’ve taken.
One of his great joys was boating and being on the water….this was from one of our many family trips together….at peace behind the wheel.
My kids have been so lucky to have all 4 of their grandparents in their lives….we all live close, we see each other often, and they can always count on a grandparent watching a soccer game, recital, swim lesson, etc. Family was so important to George, and he had such pride for each and every one of his children and grandchildren. In fact, when we would visit him recently at the hospital, the nurses would greet us as if they already knew us, since George had already spoken and shared his love for his family.
Last May, George was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was so strong, and he fought so hard through the many rounds of chemo…such joy when we were told that he was considered in remission this past November! So much to be thankful for during Thanksgiving and Christmas of this past year….the time as a family was priceless, and we all felt it.
During November, my mother-in-law asked if I would do a shoot with just she and George as a surprise for their kids as a Christmas gift. This idea had been on my mind and I jumped at the chance…we met one cold, sunny, November morning. George was so tired and still struggling with the effects of the chemo, but we took this 20 minutes to capture these moments.
It’s hard for me to describe the emotions I felt during this shoot, but it was significant…..there was a tenderness that I hadn’t seen before….and we all felt the importance of this.
This past week, after a hard-fought, brave battle with congestive heart failure over the past 8 weeks, George’s heart had done all it could do….and he passed away on March 14th. He was surrounded by so much family and so much love.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am that my mother-in-law called me back in November and put this into action. When something like this happens, right away you start thinking about what you have captured and what pictures you have….we all started going through pictures we had of him, and those that we each had with him individually. They are priceless.
I know that we all get busy….I know that our schedules are full…..but my reminder and message in this…..please, please make the time to capture your family. It doesn’t always have to be a formal photo session – grab your own camera, grab your phone and stretch out your arm to take a picture of yourself and whoever is next to you – please make sure that you capture those people important in your life – AND, make sure that you include yourself in those photos. I’m guilty of not handing over my camera often enough, and I need to make sure that I include myself in those photos as well. I’ve already informed my own parents that we will be doing a photo session this spring, whether they like it or not!
Thank you for reading this and allowing me this opportunity to remember this important man in my life…..George – your influence, and love and joy of family lives on…..you are always on our minds and in our hearts.