Can you take my family’s pictures when you come up for Christmas, just in case? She asked.
My heart sank.
Of course I will. I said.
We hung up.
I sat in my car at a Marshall’s parking lot and cried. We didn’t know what was going on exactly, but we’d soon find out that it would be our last Christmas together.
Cancer. One of life’s most unfair life sentences. Metastatic Melanoma, a type of skin cancer that spreads to other parts of the body, and sadly has no cure. I had never heard of skin cancer being that vicious. There are treatments for helping slow the process down. Immunotherapy, cancer pills, trials. Nothing helped, it was spreading and growing rapidly. We held onto hope because it was all we could really do.
Vicki, the oldest child in my family, my sister, my friend, one of the kindest souls I know. How could this be? The thought made me feel so alone far too many days. The thing that changed so many things forever. And why her?
Vicki taught me so much. That giving up was never an option. To never take life for granted. To love those closest to you fully. That following your passions is a necessity. She fought this thing with her whole being. After a long and hard battle she was then free from the pain. All the hardships that came along this hard road for her had ended on November 17, 2019. She had just turned 46 in August. Far too young.
Losing my sister has been the hardest and the most heart-breaking experience I’ve endured. I miss and think about her every day. I hold onto the sweet memories that we shared. Like how she cried the moment she saw me on my wedding day, the countless times we played Apples to Apples on holidays at her kitchen table, how she loved to make pancakes for breakfast when I was up visiting and how I can’t eat a pancake now without thinking of her, and how much she loved being a PreK teacher and loved all those little ones with her whole heart.
May is Melanoma Awareness Month. With the days starting to get warmer and people being out in the sun more, please be mindful of using sunscreen, and how exposed to the sun you are. You can also wear protective clothing and hats when being out in the sun for a long period of time. Also make sure to go to the doctor regularly and have regular skin checks. Doing these could help prevent your chances of getting melanoma.
In honor of my sister Vicki, I want to honor her life and her love for her family. I am happy to announce that I will be giving away a free family session! I know for everyone, family may look a little different and that’s okay. Whether it’s just you, or you and your significant other, or if you have children or fur babies, or whatever the case may be. You can see the rules and information at the bottom of this blog. Through this experience, it has given me a new mission with my photography business. Not only to capture the special moments in your life, but to capture those memories for families, friends, couples, and children that will last a lifetime….just in case. Be sun conscious and be well my friends!!!
Here are a couple of links to learn more about Melanoma
-For additional chance to win, comment on this blog post and tell me why family is so important to you.
-You may enter to win using Facebook, Instagram, and through this blog. You may enter to win using all methods to increase your chance to win. (One entry from each will give you 3 chances to win!)
-Only one winner will receive the session.
-Must be immediate family only for photo shoot (no extended family).
-Winner must redeem photo shoot in the year 2020.
-Photo shoot must take place in the Manchester/Bedford, New Hampshire area.
-Session time will be 45-60 minutes.
-Winner will receive 25 images in an online gallery.
-Winner must sign model release for session to be blogged about and posted on social media.
-Value of session $325.