where is your family now?

i know so many of us are reflecting on this day. 

remembering where we were when we heard the news…unsure of what was happening…or why

myself, i remember that i was sitting at a women's gathering breakfast at what was the ramada inn, at the time, and i was 9 months pregnant with our first child, jonah. 

i had a cell phone, but had it on silent for the breakfast.  

i pulled it out to check for messages, and saw 2 messages form charlie...

"baby…you need to call me….a plane just flew into the twin towers in nyc.  call me."

then, the next..

"baby…why aren't you picking up the phone?  call me!"

i heard the urgency and fear in his voice.  

it was a tone i had never heard before.  

i ran to the hallway and called charlie.  he wanted me to get home quickly. 

and on my home, i remember checking off my list of where all of my family members were right at that time. 

i needed to call my mom, my sisters, my brothers, my dad in arkansas…dang why he did he have to be so far away? and where was my mother in law?

i quickly made the phone calls…making sure each of them was safe.

i'm sure this story, though different in ways, is one that many of you can relate to in terms of the feelings you felt concerning those you love most.  

this time of year always makes me think-

and i'll tell you, this is not a guilt dripping…get your photos down now post. 

this is a post about reality. 

this past year has held far too many deaths of those close to me or of those close to ones that i love most in this world.  i have found myself saying on more than one occasion - "this dying needs to stop!"

young people...

brides to be...

those just entering the retired years of their lives...

just old enough to see grandchildren….

the fact is, the dying doesn't stop. 

we have no idea what holds our tomorrows.

and just as september 11, 2001 shocked us and hurt us to the core, we are never guaranteed that feeling never coming again. 

this year, i have also had the honor once more of photographing individuals and families that i have for many years.  once small children, are now entering into adulthood.  my BABY sister just had her third child, and my other BABY sister will be married in two weeks.  

and just yesterday, the sweet infant that i walked the floors with as she screamed with her acid reflux, looked up to me and said…"mom, i think you waxed your eyebrows unevenly…you may want to fill in the right side a little more!"

time doesn't stop….

babies grow up….

families expand and unfortunately grow smaller because of circumstance too. 

my point?

dont' wait.

this is the time. 

stop for this moment. 

relish the moment and the blessings that you have right now.

and think about preserving them for all time. 

the moments will not come back, and lost memories will not have a price tag attached to them.

but a picture of the moment will keep its worth in gold.