where do i start? i’m not quite sure how to articulate my experience with this family this morning. being at a loss for words is not something i normally struggle with ((insert my husband throwing out an amen here – ha!))
a few weeks ago i was have a rough day. i had made a decision that was not easy for me to make, but it was with my family at heart. i believe i was judged unfairly and some people had some harsh and untrue things to say. wallowing in it a bit, i sat at my computer feeling down. i was surfing the web and came across a story about a family from dallas. a family that has overcome a whole lot. a family that is fighting for life.
alex began having shortness of breath on his 27th birthday (2001) and soon discovered he had cardiac angiosarcoma – better known as heart cancer. at the time, he was the eighth documented patient to be diagnosed with this type of cancer. with surgery and chemo, he beat it. then, in 2006, the cancer came back, but he was able to beat it once again. he’s had three open heart surgeries, the tumors removed twice and his heart rebuilt both times. unfortunately, alex’s cancer is back and this time is not operable.
i instantly felt silly. my problem was not big. it didn’t matter at all. it was silly and trivial and in the big scheme of things, other peoples judgments didn’t change who i am or the people i love. cancer has touched our lives, my father-in-law beat kidney cancer last year….our good friends are fighting a cancer battle ((and they will win))…..alex’s story tugged at my heart. i read on about this family and the benefit that would be held in austin to help them. i instantly contacted one of the people working on the benefit and offered to photograph the family free of charge when they came to austin. we went back and forth and i’m soooo glad we worked out the details and timing. it took some coordinating and location scouting, but we even worked it out so that many of those that came to austin to support alex and his family could participate in their session. their benefit was a huge success, i wish i could have been there. i really wanted to be, but i was working. we met up this morning before they left town and before we starting shooting, i asked them what they wanted the most out of our time together. alex looked at me and said “all the inbetween moments”……ahhh, that’s what i love the most too. and i’m happy to say, we caught many of them. i will have more to share over the coming weeks, but i pulled just one today that makes me smile…..
alex is one of the American Cancer Society’s 28 survivors in the Hero of Hope class of 2009. he is involved in reaching out to others to battle cancer, and with his help I will be sharing some information on the foundations close to his heart in the coming days.
(((it was wonderful to meet you today, to photograph your love for one another. you have an appreciation of each moment and an attitude that inspires me. alex, i can easily say you are one of the most amazing people i’ve met. thank you for letting me capture a few of those precious moments today for your beautiful family, it was an honor.)))
What a beautiful family! Alex – I wish you the best!
It’s beautiful Lyndsay. Totally brought tears to my eyes and hit home for me as I lost a dear friend to cancer a few weeks ago. She battled it the first time in her 20’s (7 years ago) then had a reoccurance almost two years ago. What an amazing gift you have blessed this family with.
Wow, what a beautiful family. Lyndsay, you say you had a hard time finding the words, but everything you said in this post is exactly what I needed to be reminded of. Somedays I dwell on Jayden’s ailments and developmental issues, but I forget that there are people in this world who are living their last days with their children. I have to remind myself that there are people who have it so much worse than we do and I need to count my blessings. Cancer is a scary thing…My husband just lost an aunt on April 1 to lung cancer and she was not even a smoker. I’ll be praying for that beautiful family!!
You totally brought tears to my eyes. I lost my dad almost one year ago to a very brief battle with kidney cancer. The picture I had taken with him ten days before he passed is one of my most valued possessions. I have gotten very involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and am so moved by all of the Heros of Hope. How awesome that you got to meet this awesome man and capture these beautiful images with his family.
Lynds, your mama is proud of you! You have given this family a priceless gift which they will cherish along with all their other precious memories. YOU have a beautiful heart, honey. Love, Mom
You have no idea what an amazing gift you have given this beautiful family! Having recently been through similar circumstances, I will specifically keep them in my prayers! Miss you!
what can you say but, wow.
Captured them just like I knew you would. Beautiful.
MAN! so beautiful.
lynds (’cause that’s what i can my lyndsey) – you are am amazing person. i’m not sure who was judging you and had harsh words to say to you but everyone will judge you. but you know what, you can look inside yourself and say wow i’m a pretty amazing person. because you are. what you gave alex and his family will last forever – something his kids will show their kids. thats pretty powerful. YOU gave them the most special gift. i’m with you mom – you done good girl! and alex – please know there are people out here praying for you and your family.
Awww, Lynds…. 🙁 totally made me cry. You’re the sweetest thing ever <3
Lynds – I’m so sorry that people are judging you. That’s just plain ridiculous. Remember, you know the truth about who you are and your friends and family know the truth about who you are. You are an amazing, selfless individual and anyone who can’t see that is just plain blind. More than likely whoever is judging you is jealous of your love for your family, success for your job and your kind heart.
You gave a priceless gift with your time today. One that will last a lifetime and more.
Love ya Lynds.
Thanks for sharing this special post Lyndsay. And Alex! you and your family are beautiful!
Lyndsay, I am one of the nesties that have been following your blog since the days when you and your family had to evacuate from the hurricane. You are such a talented person and have a wonderful heart. I have never actually met you but conversed once or twice after your evacuation. I just want to say that this blog post had me in tears. You are so generous and you are a wonderful momma. Do what you have to for your family and let those people judging you go in one ear and out the other. This is a wonderful thing you did for this family and I know they will always cherish these photos. Take care!
That photo is awesome- once again LOVE the colors and the beautiful faces. Thanks for sharing their painful but courageous story. You’re right, hearing stories such as this family’s really jolts you to realize what is important in life and what is just fluff that doesnt matter. Lyndsay, I think your skills behind the camera is a God-given talent to bring not only joy and smiles to your clients, but the ability to highlight wonderful stories that have true meaning, such as this one.
Lyndsay-This is such a beautiful photo of Alex, Dani, Lexi and Austin. I can’t wait to see the rest. You captured their personalities and family love so well. Alex’s dad and I thank you so much for donating your time and talent. It was a wonderful weekend and Alex is so thankful for everyone’s love, support and prayers.
This was an absolutely beautiful post. What a wonderful thing you did, and what a wonderful person you are!
What a gorgeous family and a such a beautiful idea. I love reading about your life and the way that you turn bad into good over and over again……makes me wish I was better at it….a lot better. Gotta get on that! 😉
Lyndsay.. amazing. Every time I’ve heard a bit of this family’s story, I have teared up and sent up a prayer.. but seeing that photo really brought it home to me and had me in tears. Such a beautiful family, such an amazing thing you did for them. You’re an angel, as is Alex. My very best to him and all his loved ones.
thank you all so much for your warm comments 🙂
One of the things you missed at Alex’s benefit was Danielle saying how she recognized and appreciated that so many of Alex’s friends “got it” about Alex, meaning that they understood what he meant to them and vice versa. But, I don’t think you “missed out”, because Lyndsay . . . YOU “get it”. You get it by realizing life should not be a pity party. You get it by reaching out to others . . . to make a difference in their lives. You get it by having a “Gift from God” . . . the ability to look thru a lens and into people’s lives and even into their souls . . . and capture, as Alex said “those in-between moments” that so many of us miss . . . and by sharing that gift with others. I can’t wait to see all the other photos, but by just seeing THIS one, I recognize that “You Get It”. And don’t EVER let ANYONE tell you any different. Life “IS” worth living and it “IS” worth photographing so those precious “in-between moments” don’t get lost. Your skill makes me want to pick up my camera, again, and start capturing more of those moments. LIFE . . . is making memories … and YOU most certainly help capture those moments. Alex is doing what he can to help those near him, understand that, in spite of tough trials, the REAL stuff of life is something ELSE . . something “in-between”.
Time it was . . and what a time it was.
It was . . . a time of innocence . . .
A time of confidences.
Long ago . . . it must be . . .
I have a photograph. Preserve your memories . . .
They’re all that’s left you. – Paul Simon
Wow, Lyndsay, what a powerful message. And a wonderful thing you did. The best way to get outside of yourself is to do something for someone else. It always brings back rewards in triple – not necessarily tangible rewards, but rewards of the soul, the best kind.
I admire you so much, Lyndsay. What a wonderful and selfless thing you did to give them such a gift. My thoughts and prayers go out to Alex and his family.
What a beautiful picture and you captured Alex’s joy with his family just perfectly. As one of Alex’s ‘family’ that could not attend, I have thought about what I missed but, your post has made me realize what I have not missed. I have not missed watching this amazing man grow from a newborn baby to the man you see before you now. I have not missed seeing the ‘big’ Alex play soccer with the ‘little’ Alex and the patience he showed with him. I have not missed the way he teases his Gramma when he has been with her. I have not missed the time he was here (in Huntsville) and I discovered he had a pierced tongue and he begged me not to tell Mom. There is so much more – I could go on all day. He is an inspiration to all…. Alex’s ‘aunt’ Cis
I amazed by this story. What a beautiful young family. You captured them perfectly. I will keep them in my heart and prayers. It is stories like this that keep me living life to the fullest. God bless you dear.
It was so great to finally meet you that day. This photo is beautiful – as is all of your work! We can’t thank you enough for your generous donation of your time and talents. Let us know when there is more to be seen! I can’t wait to see the rest.
my prayers will continue for Alex and his family. Be strong and live everyday loving to the fullest. Lyndsay, you are a wonderful woman for doing this. I am sure meeting Alex and his family will always bring your joy and inspiration in your life. Well done.