Monday, September 1, 2014

My Big Wish before Her Big Move

All summer long, as I've thought about my mother moving into a nursing home, I've wanted to have a family photo shoot before her move.  Of course, it's not as if we couldn't have had it after her move!  But this is such a significant time in the history of her life, and in the life of my family, that I felt if possible, it should be commemorated in this way prior to the big change.

No one else in my family was clamoring for this to happen; but hey, they'll thank me someday, right?  ;-)

The date for my mother's move was set for August 28; and happily, Emily Sacra, who has blessed us numerous times in the past with spectacular photographs (for example, here, here, here, and here...and also here...and I could go on, but I'll stop now), ;-) was able to fit us into her schedule on August 25.  Whew.  We made it.  :)

I know it's not the easiest thing in the world to photograph a group of nine people, five of whom are young, inclined to wander off to explore the setting rather than staying nearby, and prone to make funny faces when they shouldn't.  Or maybe I should say "four of whom" because Josiah is maturing out of that stage.  :)  Moriah, in particular, was clingy to me that evening and was certainly not interested in taking a picture apart from me.  I had taken a marigold along with me, thinking that I might need to use it at some point by giving it to Moriah and then asking her to go show it to her grandma.  As you'll see, we did have to use that tactic; but rather than lingering with my mom to admire the flower together (and give Emily time to take some photos of the two of them), Moriah gave it to Grandma, then skedaddled away just about as fast as she could.  Oh girlie!

With taking these pictures during such an emotional week, I wasn't at all sure that I would be able to hold myself together and not get teary-eyed at some point; but Emily did a fantastic job of keeping the mood light and cheerful and positive, so as it turned out, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I had feared.  A successful photographer's skill set goes way beyond shutter speed and aperture.  ;-)

At any rate, here are the photos I liked the very best from the shoot.  (And there are a lot of them, because I have a lot of favorites!!)  :)

 The next two pictures make me laugh!  Tobin was supposed to be giving Grandma a kiss.  :)

I chose to wear two items that are particularly meaningful to me: the scarf which was made by my Aunt Joyce and given to me for my 38th birthday earlier this year, and the "Be brave" bracelet given to me by my kind and understanding (because her own mother had Alzheimer's) friend Wendy.

 Hands down, the funniest picture all evening.  I love it!!  :)
 This was the only picture we managed to snag with all five kids and the grandparents.  I'm actually crouched down behind the group, holding Moriah up in the air.  Even still, she wasn't very happy.  Oh well, can't win 'em all!

 This next picture is one that is already very significant to me, but will become, I have a feeling, so much more significant in the years ahead.  For one thing, we're sitting on the quilt my mother pieced for Jeff and I and gave to us the night before our wedding (I had NO IDEA she knew how to do that; it was a TOTAL surprise).  But what's more, my parents' position in the background, looking out over us, reminds me what an amazing source of strength and support they've been to us through the years.  They've launched me, then stood back and watched me fly--and not only me, but also the next generation coming along.  Wow.
 Can you tell Moriah was not the most cheerful girl in the park that evening?  ;-)
 But when she was with me...
 ...she cheered up.
 My littlest sweetheart.  :)

 We ended with a couple shots of the band of brothers...
 ...and then a quick Fisher Family of Seven photo.
By then, some in our group were tired of posing and were more than happy to be done with the formalities, but me?

My heart was singing and rejoicing.  No matter what the future holds, these moments were captured, and this phase of our life was recorded.

Believe it or not, it truly helped me be ready for the next one.

(Overflowing thanks to Emily Sacra for sharing her talent with us!!)