Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares The Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meet The del Rosario's...


I met Glen, Tonya and their girls for the first time on a hot summer day in the middle of July, 2012.  Tonya had messaged me on facebook to schedule a photoshoot and had told me that she wanted to have it done as soon as possible due to the fact that her husband, Glen, had just been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer:
From Tonya:  "Well, we got a bit of a shock about a week ago, learning my husband has cancer. We're still waiting on some pathology reports to determine the exact kind of cancer and what stage we're at, but it's all very scary right now. I don't know if it's possible to squeeze us in sometime quickly in the near future, but I'm now thinking I'd really love some family photos before my husband has to undergo treatment."
A week Later:
"Well, we got word today that they confirmed it is angiosarcoma. We called MD Anderson immediately, and they are not able to get us in until August. That's clearly not going to work, so we're trying to come up with a plan B. We've made several calls, but will hopefully have something scheduled by the end of next week.  Glen's mobility is impaired, and he's having to use a walker to get around, so we'll have to work around that a bit, but that shouldn't be hard."
This last message got me... I guess because Tonya was such a sweet spirited, positive person, I knew they had 3 little girls and my dad was going through cancer treatment at the time.  It made me think about how short life really is and how you never know what tomorrow holds... One day Glen was a very healthy husband and father.. laughing and playing with his girls.. The next.. Cancer stole so much from him and his family...
The day of our shoot arrived and to be honest I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it through.  I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know how to act.. Should I be my normal jolly self, or should I be solemn and quiet?  I then decided that I would be my normal jolly self.. This was supposed to be a happy time and I would do everything in my power to make it as happy and comfortable as possible...
We started out doing the normal family shots...

I then did some of Glen and his girls...

Then I wanted to do some of Glen and Tonya.. I wanted them to always remember how they were, how much they loved each other.. I wanted them to always remember this very moment...

When I do shoots, I always ask the client to bring something that's very important to them to incorporate into the shoot.  I forgot to tell Glen and Tonya to do that... But Glen was ahead of the game.  This little plaque meant so much to this family and when I read the words... I saw why..

Believe In Miracles....  

I finished the shoot and worked as hard as I could to get these images done and back to them as fast as possible.  I mailed the disc and didn't expect to hear from them, then I received this message:
"Hi Laura, I just had to reach out and tell you how grateful I am that you took those photos of Glen when you did. I got the one of him and the girls blown up and it's hanging in our hallway. He looks so healthy there, and quite honestly, I'm not sure he'll ever look like that again. So, I am sooooo glad we have that - it captures our life before cancer. I treasure it so much and smile each time I pass by it, so just thought you should know the impact of your work Thank you."
My heart broke for this sweet family.. I believe in miracles but I also believe that life throws us some curve balls that we will never understand... This was one of those. 
I followed all the updates and all their posts on facebook and every single one of them were positive.. No matter what life threw at them... They were always positive.. I never saw them post anything negative!  How strong this precious family is.. I saw posts about Tonya tying Glen's hospital robe and making him look like "an evil step sister" according to Glen, I read about their family times, their travels back and forth to MD Anderson and I read this from Tonya:  "I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but sometimes I wish we could go back to our uneventful pre-cancer life in the suburbs. Boring can be pretty darn special."
I have since been blessed to do another shoot with them and I still follow all of their journey's... I still believe in miracles and I still believe that this is the most inspirational family I have been honored to photograph.. They will forever hold a special place in my heart. 
"Last year was so kind of you and that meant the world to us. You still hold such a special place in my heart because you captured that moment in time for us so beautifully before it was visibly apparent that Glen was sick. You forever froze our life before cancer and those photos hang front and center above our fireplace as a reminder. Tonya"
We will never understand why things such as cancer steal so much from those we love, we may never understand why the kindest, most loving people have to suffer more than those that are full of evil... There are several things that I don't understand and never will... But I know who holds my future and I know that The One who has all these answers, holds my hand through all the trials I face in life...
I pray God gives this precious family, whom I call my friends, peace and comfort through this very scary journey.. I pray for and believe in... a miracle...


Sophia, Tonya, Ava, Glen & Chloe
October 2013


Monday, April 14, 2014

The Diffrence Baptism Service

Last night, Sunday April 13th 2014, I had the privilege to watch my husband Greg baptize 12 of our Youth from The Diffrence.  It was an incredible service and it seemed like the whole community came out to support these kids! We literally had people standing outside the building waiting to get in! God is so incredibly good!!




Such an amazing experience... We are truly blessed beyond measure...