My niece, Marley Kay Moore was born on January 24, 2008. She was such a bright spot in our lives. At the age of 18 months, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, one that eventually took her life in the fall of 2011.
Her incredible life and beautiful smile will forever leave an imprint on my heart. She was a little fighter, beating all odds and constantly amazing us by her strength and courage. We were blessed with the opportunity to spend just over 2 years following her diagnosis capturing memory after memory of her through photographs and video. Her life touched thousands of people in endless ways. Her ornery personality, and her perfectly crooked smile drew you to her and made you never want to let her go. She passed away the night we returned from our honeymoon, just 10 days after she walked down the aisle as our beautiful flower girl. We didn’t take one moment for granted.
My dad began his battle with cancer in June of 2011. There are no words that could possibly describe how much I loved him. He wasn’t just the man who has raised me, he was the man who taught me about life, taught me to have faith in God, and most of all, taught me that I was worth waiting for. He fought courageously for almost two years. On February 9, 2013, he earned his eternal reward and was greeted in paradise by his Father in Heaven.
My heart and my life were forever changed that day. Something in me died with him, something I’m not sure I’ll ever get back. I still feel the most intense pain when I think of how much I miss him. Yet if I can breathe past the pain, I smile when I think of the incredibly purposeful and passionate life that my sweet daddy lived. His faith never wavered, his strength never diminished. He was my hero on earth, and he’ll be my hero forever.
One of the hardest things for me, after his death, was figuring out how to go on, especially how to carry on his legacy. He was, in my eyes, absolutely perfect, and although I knew he was proud of me, I wanted to do something that would honor him, something that would bring others joy, just as his life so frequently did. I began to dwell on this verse…
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:2-6
I spent a lot of time thinking about Marley, thinking about dad. Slowly, God began to reveal a new passion within me. I found myself becoming drawn to others who were experiencing losses, or going through difficult times. Finally, it became clear to me how I would honor them both…how I would keep their memory alive. I would do what I knew to do. Take pictures.
Even throughout the intense pain of both Marley and my dad’s journey, we were given a gift. TIME. We had the time to spend together, to cherish the moments, to remember the good times. And we did that through photographs.
So that’s what I’ll do….that is how I’ll carry on their legacy. Their Legacy of HOPE.
Several times a year, I will do photo sessions for families who are affected by cancer and/or other terminal illnesses. This isn’t some sort of contest or nomination drawing, simply a gift I like to give when I come across a need and feel God pulling me towards it. However, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the link above.
To read more about my amazing dad, please click on BLOG and visit the category entitled, “My Dad|My Hero”, found on the left sidebar.
To read more about Acres of Hope Photography, and the story behind it, please click HERE.