When my friend Kristine asked me to take pictures of her dad and her sons as a favor, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I’ve known Kristine for 17 years. Only slightly longer than I’ve known my husband! We became very fast and very good friends when we met and were friends for a few years. We had so much fun together. But then we started to grow apart and suddenly our friendship ended, almost as quickly as it had begun. I thought a lot about her over the years and always wondered where life had taken her. Fast-forward about 12 years and a wonderful little social network called Facebook. I randomly looked her up one day and lo and behold, there she was! Newly plugged into the world of Facebook and I had found her! I hesitantly sent her a friend request, afraid she might still not want to be friends after all these years, but I was so relieved when she accepted!
I was delighted and surprised to find out she was married and had 3 sons! I remembered that Kristine never wanted kids, but she told me that when she met her husband, she had changed her mind. Once again, we became fast friends. Almost like no time had passed at all. She was as kind-hearted and generous as I remembered her to be with a wicked sense of humor. But shortly after we reconnected, her marriage was disconnecting.
In the 3 years since, we’ve become so grateful to the friendship we have back. She was a wonderful resource in helping me set up my baby registry when I was pregnant with Zoe and I helped her pack up and move out of her house and onto a newer, brighter future. Today she is in a relationship with a wonderful man, who also has 3 kids. They’re almost like the Brady Bunch!
In 2011, at age 36, she suffered a pretty massive stroke while having a routine surgery. Thankfully, she didn’t have any paralysis but she’s suffered memory loss and continues to have a myriad of health problems. At the time of the stroke, she informed me that her father had suffered many strokes, since he was about 30 years old.
For the past several months, her father’s health has been declining. She wanted to capture her dad and her sons together while she still had the chance. She wanted her sons to have everlasting memories, something they could pass down to their own grandsons one day. I was honored and humbled she entrusted me with making this dream a reality.
Some people might think what I do is frivolous. Or not to be taken seriously. But one thing that I love most about photography is that it’s everlasting. And powerful. It has the ability to transcend time and generations. I read an article recently and a specific quote really resonated with me: “….that is the power of photography. It can affect our very core. It can change lives. It can inspire people and start a revolution.” While I don’t expect to start a revolution any time soon, I do hope to inspire people. To affect people’s cores. And hopefully to change lives. I hope that these pictures of a grandfather and the grandsons he loves so much brings a smile to his heart. And that these 3 precious boys find comfort in them when they will need it most. Sadly, Kristine’s father’s health has taken a turn for the worst and the importance of these photographs has become all the more imminent.
Kristine called one day and said her father was having a good day and it was beautiful out. So we met up and drove to a nearby stable, which was strangely on the edge of an industrial park and a residential area. She commented that she hoped the horses were still alive, as the last time she saw them they were about 100 years old! Her dad was riding in my car, leading the way with Kristine following. As we approached the field, he immediately knew the horses were gone. The grass as very overgrown and the stable was dilapidated. I had to figure out what to do quickly and when I turned the corner, I saw the fence, with the sun behind us, and I knew I could get some wonderful photos. Right on the side of the road! We spent about 45 minutes laughing and making beautiful memories.
To the Anthony family: Thank you and all my love.