In short… this has been the worst year of my entire life.
My entire life.
May 29, 2018 is the day my brother, Trey, was killed by a 72 year old drunk driver outside of Mayetta, KS. It was a Tuesday afternoon around 2:10 p.m. Less than an hour after finding out that my brother was with Jesus, I found out my sister-in-law was pregnant. Making me an Aunt for the first time. Thankfully, she and my NIECE ( cue all photos I’m going to take of her perfectness ) are doing fine.
This happened one day after my birthday.
A birthday I thankfully was able to share with my family at Trey and Taylor’s new home. My brother and his beautiful wife had not even unpacked their boxes from moving in. His clothing still in suitcases and plastic tubs.
As I am putting the finishing touches on weddings from the weekend of his funeral services, I realize I am preparing to put behind be the only two things I have left unfinished since his passing.
The weekend of Trey’s funeral, before I even started writing the Eulogy for his service, I knew I had a wedding on that upcoming Saturday and on Sunday. Many of you know Stacy Meyer and Kellie Mitchell. They have helped me shoot so many events and weddings over the years. They stepped up, along with many other amazing friends, to help cover my weddings on June 1st and June 2nd, so I could be with my family.
I took about 3 weeks off to focus on my family and my own emotions before getting back to editing my weddings. I am so thankful for the kind of couples and families I am blessed to work with. Thank you. Thank you for giving me that time to rest.
My life is forever different and I am very grateful for your understanding as I took the first steps to this life long adjustment. It is a life long pain of varying degrees being without one of my very best friends.
Why am I telling you this… well… some of it is therapeutic for me to tell you how much I love him; to tell you how much my family loves each other and how I’m so thankful to God that my siblings and family are my world, second only to God himself.
I’m telling you this because Trey’s passing directly impacts you and your family. I have always tried to take my photos to capture who you are as a family, in the most authentic way possible. Know that you may get several extra photos of grandma dancing with the usher at the reception, extra photos of your child’s toes or smiles, extra photos of anyone who you hold dear. I pray none of you ever have to experience the traumatic loss that I have, but if you do, I want to make sure you remember that person’s eyes, hug, goofy face, laugh lines in their smiles, and so much more.
I am a different person. There is no new normal. There is nothing about me that is the same. My views on life, love, faith, work, your photos, ect… has changed. All of these things have taken on that change with me. There is my life before Trey’s accident and my life after his accident. This life is fleeting and every single moment is a gift. Though that is an overused statement… it’s not until you are left shellshocked, as my family has been, that the humbling reality of that fact sinks into your bones.
Some of you have sent cards, texts, called, made my family meals, sent books about grief, and so much more. None of this was expected and each act of kindness was so appreciated.
I am thankful for those who let me take that extra time to ensure I was able to focus fully on returning the highest quality photos to you that I can.
You have all let me into your lives. You’ve let me be apart of your most vulnerable, joyous, heartbreaking, and exciting moments. I, along with other photographers and vendors that help me serve you, have tried to help take care of your needs so far beyond just photos.Thank you for allowing me that honor. But most of all… thank you for returning the favor. Thank you for taking care of me beyond just being your photographer.
You all let me into your world. Here is a small glimpse into mine.
With so much love and thanks,