Sometimes it’s ok to take two steps back, analyze, and move forward…Never give up on your dreams!
SO you’ve wondered where I’ve been?? Well….
2012 started like any other year…New goals, aspirations, and down right determination for another year ahead UNTIL my life shattered and came to a crashing hault. It was January 3, 2012 and I received the news from my husband that my father (my #1 buddy and life long mentor) had entered the hospital with the possibility that cancer had entered his body. A few days later the news was confirmed that yes in fact the man I had seen so strong as a child was facing an uphill battle with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. I never imagined the wall I would hit with such news. I search the internet figurally trying to figure out the cure and how long I had with my father (which I recommend NEVER to do). On top of all the news, I was expecting the birth of my twins any day. The two didn’t make for a great combination as I was states away and could not fly home safely. At this point all I could do was pray and hope that I would make it to hold his hand once more. On January 13, 2012 I gave birth to the most beautiful blessings God could have given me through all the pain. A boy who was named after my father Owen “Steven” and a beautiful baby girl Natalie Marie. I cherished every moment I had with them at that moment as I knew it was God whispering in my ear that it would all be ok and he was near.
As soon I could safely fly with the babies, I was headed to Washington to hold my father’s hand and give him Hope that he wouldn’t have to fight this battle alone. It was the most amazing two and half months my family has had together. My two sisters; One in California, and the other attending college in Hawaii came home as well to be together. We rallied around my mother and father as if we were the parents protecting our cubs. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated, and more then ever we cherished the love we had for one another. I knew wedding season was just right around the corner and I would have to leave soon. I was torn between two places and knew I had to decide what was important. In my head there was no doubt I had made a commitment to my brides and to my family so I didn’t make that decision just yet….I just made it happen! I flew back and forth for the first couple of weekends to shoot weddings and then return back home to my father’s side. At the end of April right before wedding season got crazy busy, I headed back to Tennessee to hold true to my passion of business, dedication, and love for photography (Trust me my Dad would never of let me stay…lol!).
I am sharing this all with you because during this time, I had to take two steps back and analyze what was important in my life. I know my business was on the top of my list, but so was my family, health, and sanity. Rather then worry about Facebook, My blog, or Marketing, I took the time off to focus and pay attention to what was important. This was a time in my life that I knew would be hard to let go of aspects of my business, but it was also time I would never get back.
After the rush of May and June, I flew back to Washington where my father was in and out of Chemo, the hospital, and fighting a major battle with the most evil of Cancer. As a family we made plans to once again reunite in Alaska where my father was from and where my sister’s were now working for the summer. We again spent the most amazing time together in the heart of the wilderness where the fresh air and light just soaked into your soul. We were able to celebrated Father’s Day together and smile together one last time as a family around the table. My father shortly after took a turn for the worst and later passed away on June 30, 2012. He passed aways in a place he loved and most importantly surrounded by his four girls he loved so very much. He was an amazing Father, friend, and Mentor. He was as we called him our “Rock Man.”
I hold onto my father’s words to never give up and when times get hard to pick up your shorts and move forward. He knew photography, people, and relationships were my passion. He knew that I am one to dream BIG and he would want more then anything for me to keep dreaming.
Looking back on this past six months I wouldn’t of changed it for the world. I got time that I will never forget with my father and family. It’s important as a business owner to see the balance and to know when it’s time to step back, analyze and move forward. Trust me, I missed out on some good opportunities and may have taken a little longer to get back in email, BUT I had TIME to be with those I loved and for that I will forever be grateful. Thank you all for the amazing support you have given me through this time. Thank you for your calls, emails, and for mostly understanding. I have the most amazing friends, family, and clients in the world….I am forever thankful to you!
In a photo shoot we had after my father’s diagnosis this picture is now the symbol of our family. While even though we are missing a true rock in our family, he raised us to be strong independent women. Thank you Tonhya Wysong for capturing such a true moment in our lives.