This week has been a little challenging. For the first time that I can remember, a member of my family passed away. It’s hard to describe the way it feels to lose a grandparent, but at the same time, there’s an overwhelming reality that he is better off now than he had been for at least the last six years. My Grandpa suffered from Alheizmer’s disease, so in a way, he hadn’t truly been here for a long time. Alzheimer’s created an element of distance and after some time, you don’t feel as connected to them anymore. He just turned 91 in July.
I was with my mom and sister last Saturday night when my Dad called and told us he was gone. All week it felt strange to be in Florida anticipating going up to Kentucky for the funeral this weekend, but the week passed and I flew up Thursday morning. There was a visitation on Thursday afternoon and the funeral was yesterday. The last time that whole side of my family had been together was last summer for my Grandparents’ 90th birthday celebration. The best way to describe the past two days is sobering.
Sitting down to write this post, there’s no way I could do that without giving tribute. My Grandpa was a good man who blessed us with great childhood memories to carry through the rest of our lives.
Last Saturday morning I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Duncan family. We met in the morning at the University of Tampa. Andrew and Angela are the owners of the Duncan Duo, the company where I currently work. Not long ago we all found out that Remax Dynamic is re-branding. Since the Duncan Duo is associated with Remax, Andrew and Angela decided it was time to update their marketing as well. It was a huge privilege for them to ask me to take their corporate portraits!
Angela also requested to have a family session after we got the shots needed for the company. What a treat to share a little time with them away from work and see their family interact. It gave me a greater appreciation for them and proud to be a member of their team.
While Andrew and Angela went to change, we took the opportunity to grab some individual shots of their beautiful daughter, Ecella (I believe this is how you spell her name!).
At one point, I asked them if they had any kind of inside joke. Immediately, they all did “peace and rock.” They said Ecella used to always do that in every picture and a lot of laughter ensued. It was easy for me to see the very reasons why Andrew and Angela have lead their company to success, holding family first is a main priority.
Ecella’s closest friend Olivia was there as well (I thought they were sisters at first) and at the end of the session Andrew asked if they wanted to get a few pictures together. Both of these girls were super sweet and helpful during the whole session, but especially at the beginning while we were getting the company photos. It was invaluable to have some assistance!
Going through the photos from this session after the past few days makes smiling easy. It’s a sobering fact that with every sad occasion comes celebration as well and family is one of greatest reasons to celebrate. We all have family to hold close, whether blood relatives or not, and we need to take the opportunity to savor those connections as often as possible. We were never meant to go through this life alone.