This winter has been long and cold and so much different from last year. Last year the weather appeared very much like how I felt inside; cold and grey. There were many days that I wonder how I would emotionally get through photographing thousands of children at dance studios in the spring and not just physically, but emotionally get through 30 some weddings I had scheduled on my calendar before losing Grant. I was nervous whether I could get through a wedding without crying. I was afraid that maybe it would emotionally exhaust me being around that much happiness when I hurt so deeply inside. I was afraid of one of the most difficult points in the day that could bring me to tears and a few times it did… the mother/son dance and it was a blessing that was the last important event of the day to capture. But whether tears were tears running down my face I hid behind my camera as I stilled that moment forever. As hard as it was for me to think about the weddings I had ahead of me, I knew I had to pull myself together and as hard as it was to think I would never have that day with Grant there were two people depending on me to still every moment of their day. I remember the day I wrote something for the Agape website “We are privileged to not only capture your special day, but encapsulate every smile, every laugh, every hug, every tear.” I took that very serious all those years, but this past year I thought and felt quit deep about it. I think sometimes we all get wrapped up in our jobs and a job becomes a job not a passion. It’s nice when we can make money enjoying our passion and there are always goals to spend it on, but a real passion is when you enjoy what you’re doing and that it really truly means something to someone else. Clients ask me, “Are you the photographer that will shoot my wedding?” Before losing Grant I would chuckle and say I would definitely be the one to photograph their wedding and if it meant I had a cast on my leg and had to bring another photographer to help me they could count on me being there that day. There is a story to this… never, never would I have thought the worst would become my reality. Dec 3rd Sarah and I had a wedding. I had left the house that morning to pick up a few things from Karmin and the plan was to meet Sarah at the church by 11:00. To this day I really don’t know what made me leave so early or why I didn’t peek in on Grant like I always did. As painful as it was for Steve to be alone; I still think that Grant, God, someone up there knew it was not something I could live the rest of my life with. Through the numbness I could hear the grief mixed with the cause of finding the staff to photograph the wedding that was going to begin within an hour. I still don’t know how it all played out that day. Somehow we found Kelly running a marathon and Kiki who had never looked at the itinerary or how Lauren and Heather, our assistants that had that Saturday off understood the screaming phone call of Karmin not only explaining what was happening, but that they needed to go to a wedding in Anoka. That day that bride had more talent than anyone of us could offer on a normal wedding day. A few days later Kelly came and curled herself up in my bed and told me this; Kim, when I finished the wedding and the reality of what had happened that day hit me I was walking out to my car and the snow so beautifully started to fall… she said Kim, I am not kidding… they looked like diamonds… I think that was Grant saying thank you. I know Grant knew even having left this Earth that as divesting as Dec 3rd was for our family it was an important day to another. Our extended family at Agape documented that special day flawlessly and I know Grant was pleased.
So for you that follow our blog know we document everything; laughter, tears, joy, sadness, everything emotion that stills we are human. Of these photos over the past year some you have seen, but there are many thousands that have been taken that our family will forever cherish. I can look at them and remember the conversation and hear the laugh vividly. I can see without words the love that went into a day’s hard work. Wesley said to me one day when I was thanking him for all of his hard work at Grant’s Place not taking any time off over the weekend for himself and having to go back to his Mon-Fri job and work just as hard… I remember to this day the kind smile on his face saying, this isn’t work. If I felt this appreciated every day that I go to work… it would never be called work. He bowed his head and said, It is my pleasure. The picture and memories we have captured over the past year at Grant’s Place are as precious as the 23 1/2 years I have of the stilled moments that come to life for me when I look at them. The pictures I have of Grant whether by himself, with family, friends, girlfriends, vacations and just the many I captured that I now look at and wonder what was he thinking about. I captured emotion, kindness, thoughtfulness, love and just what a genuine person he was.
Over the past year when I am photographing a wedding I have more than events and itinerary check lists on my mind. It’s like I’m obsessed in a way with more than a check list, most of the last pictures we have of Grant was at Karmin’s wedding that summer and as hard as it is for me to look back at the pictures and video I know I have them. I have been blessed with my passion because it has allowed me to reminisce in all that may have been forgotten. In a picture I can hear him talk, adore his laugh, or know a wink followed. In my photos Grant is as alive as he will always be in my heart.
A few years ago I received a thank you from a bride and as thoughtful as it was I really had no clue as to how thankful she was until now. It went on to say how please they were with the photos taken at their wedding that we captured every detail and now I understand the depth to the ending of her Thanks… You captured hundreds of photos of my father and I that I will forever cherish as he passed away shortly after our wedding. At the time I was pleased I made a difference that day… today I understand that gratitude.
I Love these photos of Grant and his Grandmother… The way he looks at her just shows so much of who he always was.
Always your biggest fan,