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A Sad Mother’s Day

Two years ago almost to the day I met a single mom and her two kids. She answered a call for models for a project on motherhood I was working on for a photography seminar. I was looking for an extended nurser who would let me photograph them nursing their toddler in public. I met them at a playground and we played and chatted until her toddler wanted to nurse and then we played and chatted some more. The day was slightly cold but the kids didn’t seem to mind and their sunny dispositions chased away all of the clouds. The children were happy and adored by their mother. At the end of our session when it was time for me to get back to my little ones I pursuaded these three to take a photo together. Many moms I know don’t like being in front of the camera. Many moms want to wait until everything is perfect – their hair, their clothes, their weight – you name it we will often come up with excuses to stay behind, rather than in front of the camera. But on this day and with some urging from the kids, I snapped a quick photo of their family – was it perfect no, but life often isn’t and our kids love us just they way we are each and every day.

And today I am sad because yesterday Zoe died leaving behind her two beautiful children. I found out through the Moms in Madison message board where I went to request help from other moms for my photography project and where Zoe was a frequent contributor. She gave freely of her time, expertise and opinion to other moms requesting help on a large variety of topics.

Today I am torn between feeling incredibly sad that Zoe’s kids will never have another Mother’s Day in the traditional sense and I am also feeling incredibly grateful for the time I have with my children and my mom (I also feel a strong desire to be in more pictures with both of them!).

I only met Zoe on that one day in May. but I feel lucky to have crossed her path. I feel glad that I was able to capture a few images of Zoe and her kids. I will take disks and copies of the photos I have to the memorial for the kids. I know that right now they may bring sadness because the loss is so immense. But in the future I hope these images remind them of the person who did everything in her power to start their lives off in the right direction. It doesn’t seem like enough, but then again a mother can never be replaced. However,  I feel privileged to be able to do this very small thing for these kids on this mother’s day.

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