Kacie Fowle, of Kacie Jean Photography, is kindness. She is incredibly supportive of the SMA cause and our family, continually donates her time and talent, owns dozens of NEVER GIVE UP. shirts, has hosted fundraisers for theGSF, and she even ran her first half marathon with Team GSF this year (she’s usually behind the camera snapping those awesome shots of Team GSF as they run). When we have faced so much she has always been there with a smile and gentleness. She captured Gwendolyn’s spark at her strongest and she took her photos at her weakest with love. And, without us ever asking, on the day we never wanted to face, Kacie put together a slideshow for Gwendolyn’s funeral.
This weekend we took new family photos. I’m not going to lie, we felt anxious about them – our first family pictures without Gwendolyn. But we wanted to commemorate Eleanora’s birthday and we knew we needed to push ourselves to do with Eleanora the things we did when Gwendolyn was her age.
Kacie has been photographing our family since Gwendolyn was just 19-months-old. She is so sensitive and thoughtful and immediately knew this would be a big experience for us. She also knows how much we feel Gwendolyn in the brilliant sunsets. Kacie planned everything so we didn’t have to think about it and we did our best to attempt to bring Gwendolyn into the photos by dressing Eleanora in a butterfly dress and I wore my Gwendolyn jewelry. But Bill and I were both a bit tense.
We’d never been to this specific beach before, so the setting was all new to us. Eleanora adores the beach and we relaxed a bit watching her explore the rocks. As the sun began to set we climbed a little hill and a calm immediately ran through me, and, it seemed, Bill, too. The clouds were purple and the sky was vibrant pinks and reds, just like the week Gwendolyn passed away. I felt emotions bubbling up, the kind that filled me to my fingertips. The ache was intense, but so was a sense of peace. It was also one of those magical sunsets that seem to go on forever and deepen its brilliance with every passing moment.
Gwendolyn was there with us – in every way. She is in her sister’s impish grin and in the shape of her eyes. She is in the way we look at Eleanora as she seeks out life’s joy. She is peeking through in every kiss and surrounding us as we throw her sister up in the air. We all could feel her.
When Kacie sent her amazing photos to us, I sobbed and I smiled. And I felt that same sense of peace. Thank you, Kacie, for capturing both of our girls once again.
See all the photos in this SLIDESHOW
SEE SOME OF THE PAST PHOTO SHOOTS: