In September I posted some images here on my photo page (with permission) from the local hospice home, Hospice of Frederick County’s Kline House, that I took for their marketing materials. I met some incredible nurses, staff, and patients. One of the patients I met was James.
James had the biggest smile and even though he was very sick and weak, he was a jokester. His spirit and eyes were bright despite his body being frail. How the nurses and staff care for these patients lit a little fire inside me. I’ve thought about him a lot since that August photo session.
When I left that photo shoot, I had that “photo high” that I hadn’t had in YEARS. (It’s what I imagine a runner’s high feels like… I’ve run two marathons and I’m still waiting for that “feeling” to ever happen…)
I had that high, that rush of dopamine, for days after. Every time I thought about Kline House, I couldn’t help but get all the feels. The good kind.
I usually photograph people in such a different time in their lives- new babies, beautiful weddings, big family get togethers. While photographing patients and nurses in a hospice home is vastly different, it’s every bit as important and equally beautiful.
When I logged onto my FB page this morning I saw a woman had commented on one of the photos from Hospice from months ago.
“My Daddy ❤” she wrote.
I noticed her profile photo was also the image I took at hospice.
I was in a rush this morning to get to Rotary on time, but I left a comment for her to reach out to me, I had more images, I said, if she wanted them.
Seconds later I got a message back. Yes, she wanted more images- anything I had of him, she would gladly take. I grabbed my external hard drive and scrolled through my entire photo session from that day. I pulled 37 images of her father. I put them in a Dropbox file and sent them over to the email address she had provided.
“Thank you so much! He passed in August so these pictures are a great little Christmas gift!”
I can’t help but weep tears of happiness and gratefulness that I was able to bring this daughter a smile, even a tiny bit of joy, during a season where I know she’s hurting and missing her dad.
You may never know who is hurting this season. Who is missing someone, who is angry this season, who is feeling broken.
Be extra kind.
Be extra patient.
Be extra giving.
Sometimes you don’t know how powerful a gift you give will be. It may seem small to you, but the world to someone else.
These were “just” marketing images… but now? Now they are something else, something much more special. And I am humbled by that.
Take the time. Be a little late Go the extra mile.
Thank you Hospice of Frederick County for the opportunity to do this important work- and thank you Three Old Souls for letting my images tell a very important story. It is one of the greatest honors of my life.