It was a message we had been dreading to receive. And we just lay there. Thankful for every moment.
I had twittered last Monday that Erin and I had photographed a family portrait that was especially meaningful. The father, Masse, had terminal cancer and as a gift one of Erin’s friends asked us if we would capture him, his wife, and adorable 3 year old daughter together one last time.
Having just checked himself out of the hospital, he had chosen to come home and spend his last days with the loves of his life rather than being hooked up to machines in a cold and sterile hospital.
We arrived not sure what to expect, and began setting up our gear. Nori, his wife, came out leading her husband by the hand, carrying his oxygen tank and taking small steps as he used every ounch of strength he had to walk into their back yard. Their shy daugther hiding behind them clutching onto her Mommy’s leg.
It was the shortest shoot we have ever done, and yet we knew what we were capturing would be looked at more times than any wedding photo we could ever take. Because there, in a little backyard in Northridge, was a man treasuring every second he had left with his wife and little girl. And that smile was something not even as horrible as cancer could ever take away.
Our hearts broke as we received the news last night that Masse has passed away, one week after we captured him and his beautiful family.
Life is a gift, every moment. Take time today to tell those you love how you feel, and if you think of it please say a prayer for a wife and daughter who are missing the amazing man who shaped their lives.