The cycle of life often shows up in unexpected ways that point to a Master hand at works in our lives. Such is the case for Brooke and Carol Richardson.
For most clients, the tears flow freely at their gallery reveal on the big screen. A box of tissues permanently resides on the coffee table in my office for good reason. When clients see those they love most in this life captured thru my lens, they say it appears as though I love their people like they do to capture them as I have. For Brooke and her mom Carol, the tears began early in their pre-consult meeting.
The pre-consult is where I get to know my clients and their desires for their portraits. Brooke told me she was coming to me because she wanted these portraits to be special. They were marking a moment of triumph in her life because the journey to become a mom has been difficult. Brooke experienced grief, first through the loss of a baby who was welcomed into the arms of heaven before she could hold this little one in her own arms. This loss followed the loss of her grandfather who she was so deeply connected to. In his last days, Brooke told her granddad she would name a baby boy after him if she should be blessed with one.
Brooke is not alone in her loss. Her mom walked this painful path of loss, over and over again 30 years ago. Local docs offered no hope of her ever becoming a mother. One day Carol happened to overhear a young doc at Hopkins talking about fertility issues on the news. She got an appointment right away and hormonal issues were diagnosed as the cause for loss. A young Dr. Nathan Berger began to treat Carol immediately, but he did more than treat her as his patient. He walked the journey of infertility right alongside Carol...he called to check in on her...he listened to her fears...he cried with her...and finally he triumphantly delivered her Brooke alongside his wife who was a nurse. Brooke was the first baby they ever delivered together. Today he helps other women in his key role at Shady Grove Fertility clinic.
Carol has been Brooke's confidant and cheerleader, encouraging her every step of the journey toward becoming a mother. The Lord wastes no tears in our journey.
When I revealed her gallery, shy joyful smiles spread across Brooke's face. The gentle tenderness that epitomizes how she approaches life will be an incredible blessing to baby Steele when he arrives. The first two portraits in this blog were my interpretation of Brooke reaching up to her grandad to say, 'here he is, the boy we said we'd name after you, just a few weeks away!' When I shared my interpretation with the creation, Brooke and Carol's tears flowed freely. Then they shared with me that on Brooke's wedding day, the sun rays broke through the cloudy day at 5:00 and they said, 'granddad made his appearance!' So now the journey continues and it appears that granddad's cheering you on Brooke and baby Steele!