We’ve been referred to as the “Sandwich Generation”. Being squeezed between taking care of our parents and taking care of our children. Both physically and financially. Although it’s not this way for some, it is this way for many. It’s a strange place to be in life. I feel like I’m right smack dab in the middle of it. Middle aged, for lack of a better term. I half smile, half sneer at the implications of that phrase. Middle Aged. Hmmmm…
The other part of being where I am right now in life is getting used to having life and death on either side of me. There are babies being born and people getting sick and dying all around. It feels heavy some times. I completely understand that this is just life. It’s normal and learning to be with it, to accept it seems to make it not as heavy.
When I first started designing albums, I loved how happy I felt when making a book. The images were typically of a wedding or celebration. The people in the photographs were happy and therefore I couldn’t help but smile as I placed them on a page. After having photographed and designed Zejah’s album, that happiness was replaced by sadness. It was so touching to work with those images. It was heavy, but knowing that healing was the end result of the book being put together pulled me through the difficulty.
Now, I’ve been asked to build a book for a couple who were recently married. They became pregnant on their honeymoon and soon after found out that she had cancer. (There it is again. That word that I’ve become too familiar with.) Her husband reached out to have their album made as soon as possible. She just delivered their baby a couple of weeks ago and is about to begin her chemotherapy treatments. He wants to place this album from their wedding in front of her to bring happy memories of love and celebration into her spirit.
As I place these photographs on the pages of their book, I’m reminded of life and how fragile it can be. How quickly things can change and how important it is to celebrate each moment. How important it is to let the things that bother and worry you slip past as quickly as possible. I am reminded not to hold onto those negative feelings and thoughts and to tightly grip the things that make me happy and bring joy to my life.
Life can be beautiful and happy and devastating and sad all at once. It’s all in how you look at it I guess. I am grateful that I feel God within my heart and soul. That I’m not gripped by fear the way that I used to be. That through my finding a connection to God, I’ve found a connection to life and death. A connection that has allowed me to be with the cycle in a new way. One of acceptance more than anger.
Leaving you with a few photos from a blessing way I recently went to seems appropriate. New life. Happiness. Celebration.