Today, a good friend (also one of the mother's of one of the little heroes in The Drawing Hope Project) wrote me, to ask a 'favour'. Her adopted son has a biological brother, who was adopted by another family...and now his mother is facing the reality of cancer, and the very short amount of time she has been "given". Both boys have adopted siblings who are older - and she thought (and I agree whole-heartedly) that it could provide some comfort to create a special photograph starring all four children, with the two older children looking over their younger, adopted siblings.
I didn't have time to think twice, and the idea for this photo came to me almost immediately. Ironically, a dove perched itself outside my studio window and watched me for 20 minutes this morning while I worked (doves always remind me of my Dad)...and I'm heading down to do their photo this Wednesday, between two other shoots for The Drawing Hope Project (Carter and Elizabeth!). It's easy to think "you have time". The reality is...sometimes, you don't. This is one of those opportunities to do something with the abilities you have, that can truly make a difference to someone. Comfort and peace isn't something that you can pick up at Walmart. It's something that resonates inside you, and strikes a chord you didn't know you had the strings to strike.
One of these brothers is losing a mother - for the second time in his life. I can't even imagine how that could feel...I just can't. The idea was to create a photograph to bring comfort to everyone - to the mother, seeing her son looked after by the others, and for the children, to see that they are not alone; for her family to see that their family is extended, that there is support and light beyond their door. For me, it's an opportunity to do what I can with what I have, to make things maybe just a little bit easier for someone.
I have already mocked up the photo, and it is destined to be one of my favourites, for so many reasons. It has meaning, and timelessness. It is whimsical and magical. It means something - and it's meaning will grow as time passes. It is full of hope. It can be a little light in a time of darkness.
All this aside...Wednesday, when I am doing their photo shoot...I am prepared for my heart to break a little inside. These days for that family are priceless, and taking her son away from her for even 30 minutes for this photo shoot...I intend to make it meaningful and worthwhile. I want those 30 minutes to be worth an eternity, creating a photo she can carry with her into the stars, knowing her son and his brother will always be looked after.
This could be the most important photo I have ever created, and the one I have been most honoured to be part of.