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Words Almost Fail Me

Rewind to yesterday. I can't tell you how rewarding an experience the assisted living photography session was. In fact, as the title makes clear, it will be hard for me to describe it.

It started by my hearing on NPR about a photographer visiting a nursing home and photographing the residents. Before some of you knew me, I was a queen with old folks. I had patients in their 90's, and we got along famously; they looked forward to their yearly mammogram. This seemed like an excellent idea for me to pursue. Serendipitously (is this a word?) a woman who comes to the market frequently turned out to be an activities person at a local assisted living center. We made plans, they got moved, we made plans, this time it was a go.

When I first arrived no one was waiting. It wasn't long before one woman came forward, then another, and you get the picture. I would introduce myself, shake their hand, ask their name, and age. Some were proud to tell me.

Rose, pictured yesterday, suffers from macular degeneration, a disease of the eye, rendering the person nearly blind with extreme sensitivity to light. She was game, however she pressed me to hurry as the light was hurting her eyes. One of my favorite pictures of her is with her head down, and hands to her eyes. She'll never see it, but I'll enjoy it myself. I told her she looked good, she said she was wearing her school girl clothes. I said indeed; I liked her cardigan and pleated skirt.

Today I've posted Isabella's picture. Another one that won't be seen, but I like her wistful look. As it turns out, this 93 year old woman is not well--surprise! The marvelous part is that her daughter (69) was visiting from North Carolina and was absolutely thrilled that I was there. She asked if I would photograph them together--need I tell you my answer? When I was leaving, my contact told me the daughter was so grateful; she was worried it would be the last picture taken of her and her mother. Naturally, yours truly teared up at the thought.

It was one of those things you do as much for yourself as for others. That may sound selfish--most of our actions are in some regard. The blessings I received were great. My intention is to provide them with an 8 X 10 for free--we don't need the money. I was hoping to make them feel special and that someone would do something for them with no strings attached. At their age, every person that helps them is paid. I will not be counting myself among that group. Hopefully it will be a blessing to them as well.

I called my contact this morning to let her know that we had some wonderful shots. She replied that there were those who were disappointed not to have had it done. Would I be returning? Again, you know how I responded.

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