I share this post with so many emotions… some sad, some happy, but mostly feelings of admiration. I share these stories in an effort to bring hope and perseverance, because I know we can all use that in our lives from time to time… the women in these stories are true inspirations. Having said that, you might want to go grab some tissues folks…
Earlier this year my sweet friend and fellow photographer, Kim Winey, introduced me to The Remembering Zachary Project (www.rememberingzacharyproject.com). This is a cause that is very near and dear to Kim, as she had the pleasure to photograph Zachary when he was 7-months old, but Zachary tragically lost his life at 14-months old at the hands of a child abuser. This past March Zachary would have been 10 years old, and so his amazing mommy, Chrissy, asked everybody to Remember Zachary in a beautifully simple way. “Do something, anything, to remember him and then let us know about it. The responses we get back will be gathered and turned into a memory book celebrating the impact that Zachary’s life continues to have on all of us.” Kim took her brilliant photography mind and proposed a global “Remembering Zachary” project, in which photographers donate our photography services to a deserving cause, or family, in Zachary’s honor.
As soon as Kim told me of the project, I immediately knew who I would donate to in memory of Zachary. Kirsten White… no question about it…. We first met Kirsten when she hired us to photograph her wedding to Jason White in 2009. Since then Kirsten has been through the unimaginable – in 2011 she and Jason were blessed with twins, Riley & Cameron. But Cameron, was very sick and passed away at 5 1/2 months old on October 13, 2011. Not even a year later Jason collapsed while playing soccer and died on September 11, 2012…. through it all Kirsten has held on to her faith and has the most amazing grace.. to be in her presence is truly an honor. This past year has been a turning point, as Kirsten has found someone to celebrate love and life with she and her son, Riley. In August as she landed from a sky diving trip… Doug was on the ground waiting for her with a sign that read “Kirsten, will you marry me?” The wedding is in December!! I am so happy Kirsten allowed me to photograph their Engagement Session in memory of Cameron, Jason & Zachary. Thank you Kirsten, Doug & Riley !! xoxoxoxoxxoxo
“Jason and I were happily married for 3 1/2 years we had 2 little boys on 5/3/11. Riley and Cameron were born by emergency very early and needed to stay in the NICU through their first couple months of life. Cameron had been very sick and passed away at 5 1/2 months on 10/13/11. He touched so many people’s lives he never even met…as did Jason. Jason suddenly passed away 9/11/12. It was earth shattering and through coping with his passing the Lord brought me a sense of peace that surpasses all understanding. I was thankful Jason had a saving knowledge of Christ and is in heaven without pain or sorrow with our son, Cameron. It forever changed how I view life here on earth. Everything is temporary and time is such a gift. I will forever be grateful for the time I was given with him and the gift Riley and Jason’s family is in my life because of him”.Doug and I have been friends for a little over 7 years now (we met before Jason and I met…but all hung out with the same group of friends so that’s how I ended up meeting Jason). Jason and Doug were very good friends and he has always been a very special person in our lives. Involved in every step and trial that’s come. Even after Jason passed away, Doug has always been there for Riley and I. We have continued to be close friends and he has maintained a wonderful relationship with Riley. We had many friends and family hoping and praying that our friendship turned into more, however, we weren’t so sure because of the past. Only recently did we feel like the Lord was working in our hearts and turned our friendship into something so beautiful. What a precious gift this relationship has been! Doug has all of the qualities I would look for in a man I want to spend the rest of my life with and he will be an amazing father to Riley. Most of all…he is my best friend and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for our future together as a family!”