My philosophy as a photographer has always been to overshoot rather than undershoot. I’d rather have many unneeded photos that I end up deleting than to not have ones that are necessary.
From the day Tori was born she was photographed daily in an attempt to capture everything, to share her with family and friends everywhere. I would take pictures while Brennan was at work to text to him. I would send them to my parents in California. I would post them on Facebook and Instragran daily, which helped people fall in love with her (even before she got sick).
In a way, this helped everyone feel like they were right here with us instead of across the country.
We captured as many expressions and moments as possible – on camera and on video – so that we wouldn’t forget anything.
There were those who commented about my obsessive photo taking at the time, in jest, I assumed, saying that I was clearly a first-time mom because of all the photos I posted.
I don’t regret a thing.
We had no idea what was lurking around the corner; we had no indication that we would lose so much of Tori on January 7, 2015.
Now all we have are these thousands of photos and videos to remind us of her personality before Krabbe.
One day (without a miracle), the photos of Tori on TimeHop will be only from the distant past. No new photos will have been posted because she won’t be with us here on earth any longer.
And that is going to be painful.
I have realized lately that now, now that we know that time with Tori is painfully short, I take photos constantly because I am desperately trying to capture every angle, every detail, every expression in a vain attempt to hold on to her.
It’s almost as if I am hoping that, if she leaves us, these photos will take me back to these moments of holding her, that they will remind me of how it felt to cuddle with her. That I will be able to almost feel her weight in my arms.
I know that nothing will bring her back, but these photos will help ensure that we don’t forget the little things about her, the things that typically fade with time.
Ultimately, we have realized that we don’t know when the last photo of her will be taken, so we subconsciously live as if each day could be the last day we have with her and photograph as much as we can.
The point of this post is this:
NO ONE is promised tomorrow. No one.
Though I wish we would be the last parents to lose a child I know that, sadly, it isn’t going to be the case. For many it will be unexpected, with plenty of room for regret; for others it will be like our journey – expected and yet the length of time left is unknown, also leaving room for regret. Both are excruciating.
Brennan and I will never be the same. Tori has changed us in incredible ways and we pray that these changes are permanent. We are better people because of everything we have gone through this year. Perfect, no. Improved, definitely.
So, here are a few things that Krabbe has taught us in the past ten months, and we want to challenge you with these very things today:
Time is short, even if your children outlive you. In light of eternity, life here on earth is merely a vapor, gone all too soon. Love them fiercely and abundantly.
Take more pictures than you could possibly ever need. Enjoy every possible moment with your family. Treasure each stage of your child’s growth because it will all too soon be replaced by another.
Don’t let the little things bother you. Keep a clear and healthy perspective on life and let that transform how you treat people. Remember that everyone has a story and a context and if you don’t know their context you will likely misjudge them.
Remember when you are frustrated with your children that there are parents out there who would do anything to be reprimanding their child because theirs was taken far too soon.
Focus on what really matters in life and stop making a big deal of those things that don’t matter…like red Starbucks cups 😉
Choose joy every single day. Choose love every single moment. Offer grace freely even when you don’t feel like it.
And take as many photos as your heart desires. ❤️
Because you have no idea when your life – or the life of a loved one – will be over.