Lori’s Two Favorite Things
Today is Lori’s Birthday and we want you to join us in celebrating with her. This picture is one of my favorites because it combines two of Lori’s greatest loves, photography and our daughter Edie Grace. There are many more of her “favorite” things captured here also. Her love to travel and explore new things. Her incredibly gifted ability to see the beauty of God’s creations most of us would never notice. The perfect light, the trajectory of the image, the detail of the architecture, the inner beauty of the subject, the emotion of the moment, exposing the windows of your soul, I could go on and on…
Her gift is magical. Her ability to see places and people in extraordinary ways and then transform this perfect vision of them to a canvas so they will forever enjoy this moment in time frozen forever. It is an amazing gift that she, thankfully has been allowed to share with so many of you for one more year.
Life Is A Gift: Treat It As A Gift Every Day
Many of you know Lori’s journey though surviving cancer at the age of 33 when Edie Grace was only 14 months old. It is unimaginable how three simple words can turn your world upside down in seconds: “You Have Cancer”. Cancer was a valley that consumed us but did not defeat us. Cancer is a devastatingly scary, horrible, tragic diagnosis. But it also gives clarity to life. You are forced to face the fact that life IS terminal. You have two choices – give up or fight. Lori chose to fight and she was lucky enough to win.
The fact is, you never really win with Cancer. Once it grabs you it never lets go. You are constantly concerned that it will reoccur. Every little ache or pain, every odd symptom the fear rushes back for just a moment. Then there is the burden of survivorship. Understanding why God chose to allow you to survive when so many others were defeated.
There have been many times when it would have just been easy to give up and allow cancer to win not just physically but mentally and emotionally also. But it also inspires you to work harder, to do more, to make a difference in every life you touch. To dance through life like no one is watching and to share a legacy with others that will touch them so deeply that they are inspired and find the strength to do amazing things.
Birthdays Are Special
One of Lori’s favorite charities is the American Cancer Society. They launched a campaign a few years ago that they were the “official sponsor of birthdays“ with the tagline “MORE BIRTHDAYS!!!” For Lori and millions of others this is completely true. Because millions of strangers impacted by cancer chose to contribute and support research, Lori and so many, many more people have beat cancer and are beating it as I write this.
Birthday’s have always been very special for Lori however for another reason, because her Mom saw to it that they were. Even in the darkest days of life, when they struggled financially and emotionally – nothing got in the way of “birthday week”. Lori’s mom was her spirit animal. She is a perfect combination of her wonderful parents. But the thirst to make a difference, the creative spirit, the fearless, persistent desire make things better for herself and others, the ability to see the beauty and purpose for every flower, every weed, every insect in her garden, the phenomenal love and compassion for animals and most importantly the constant reminder that “it is never what it seems”.
This birthday is extraordinarily hard because Lori’s spirit animal Mother has changed roles to Guardian Angel. We feel her presence in small ways and big ways every single day. Her Mom’s sudden death has tested Lori’s purpose. It has again, turned our world upside down. It has caused us to press pause on the button of life and to rediscover all the reasons for living. The two things that pulled Lori through the valley of cancer are the same two things that have become her guide-stones through this deep loss.
Our incredibly beautiful gift of Edie Grace
Her love for photography.
Of course there is the third, which is always truly the first and that is her faith.
We are grateful to have a wonderful family, a very incredible daughter and clients who have the ability to appreciate the magic of her gift of photography. Thank you all for choosing to traveling this journey with us and for continuing to support us through friendships and by choosing Lori as your families’ artist and personal historian. Your support encourages, inspires and allows our little family to continue to make a difference not only in your life but for so many others. Thank you!
Thanks for celebrating with us today. Here is Keith Urban’s “Happy Birthday” recorded for the American Cancer Society: