Last week I escaped to Napa, CA, for some husband and wife only time. Not only was it magical and soothing for the soul but there was no accident that I was meant to cross paths with a very special couple.
While cooling off in the pool at our quaint Bed & Breakfast (will blog all about that next time) we began chatting with another couple who were also guests. Their names were Melissa and Andrew Devore, all the way from Boston and there for a completely different purpose. They were celebrating Melissa’s completion of a year of cancer treatment. It was exactly a year to the day that Melissa underwent her surgery.
I was instantly drawn to Melissa and was touched by her story she shared. I have never thought about what I would look like with no hair. But I hope I would look as beautiful as Melissa does.
Melissa’s story can be found here.
While enjoying the early evening in the beautiful grounds at our B& B called Chateau De Vie , Melissa and Andrew appeared. Having my camera in my hand I had to ask if they would be interested in a photo. Fortunately they weren’t camera shy and happily did as I asked.
After a few shots, Andrew asked if I could photograph Melissa without her wig. Instantly things changed and another side of Melissa was about to been seen through my lens.
I knew straight away the vibrant and healthy hedges were the perfect place to have Melissa placed. As soon as my camera was positioned in front of her face and I looked through my lens, I felt her and her soul. It is rare but when this happens I feel a wave of tingling through my body. I felt emotion rising within me as I focused on what I needed to do next.
In the first image, I wanted Andrew to be present like he has been for Melissa but I wanted him to be in the background and not fully in focus. I asked Melissa to close her eyes and think of her journey over the past year. She then opened her blue eyes and the moment I was wanting was captured. In the second image everything was the same, other than I asked her to close her eyes and think of her future. You won’t miss which images below I am referring to.
Having the opportunity to meet and photograph Melissa and Andrew was as much of a gift for me as it is was for them. Sometimes we feel so helpless when so many friends and loved ones are being diagnosed with cancer. It seems like cancer is everywhere.
Melissa’s story has given me encouragement and a knowing that there is a way to help make a difference and not everyone will loose their battle with cancer. We all need to remind ourselves (including me) how precious life is and being healthy is a gift. We shouldn’t have to experience cancer to learn this!
Thank you Melissa for showing me your soul and for touching me.
Please send good thoughts, prayers and energy to Melissa and Andrew. May their future together flourish like a flower blooming in springtime.
While you are at it, please include an amazing woman and photographer from Bend, Jen Thompson and my childhood neighbor and family friend in New Zealand, Graham Tait who are both fighting for their lives.
PS, my favorite song – IMAGINE, by John Lennon is playing as I finish up writing this post, it just caught my attention! No accidents…