Thursday, April 19, 2012

Remembering Mom #4

I VIVIDLY remember a shoot I did in the SAME location as the image above. My sister had taken Mason to visit Mom one morning, and I happened to be over there. She was playing with him in the yard, and I took the opportunity to take some images of the two of them - just playing... I went back and looked at the blog post I did from that little session and loved what I saw.
(If you want a refresher, click HERE.)
It was hard to be back home without her. Going home just doesn't feel the same. As one of my friends says, it's like all the color has been stripped from Birmingham. Now, don't get me wrong... I have some GREAT friends and family members in the city, but it's just not the same. Not at all.
The first time I flew home after Mom passed away was so anti-climatic. I'd never flown into Birmingham without my Mom coming to get me. I went to Enterprise to rent a car and just started bawling crying. I felt bad for the poor salesman because he had not a clue what was going on with me. :) It's like a story Mom would tell. Ha!
It's getting easier to go home, but I still don't like it. I still want her to pick me up - and to want to take me to eat some of my favorite foods - and to cook me dinner - and to play with the kids in the yard. Until then, I want to enjoy them as she would... which means slowing down, living simply, playing outside, and taking my camera with me:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Remembering Mom #3

You all know how much I love pictures. I have such a new-found love for images of my Mom, of my family, of the ones I love.

In case you didn't know, I have a great opportunity to go on a mission trip to China. What's (almost) more exciting than my trip is that I have photographers and videographers partnering with me in raising support.

One such person is my friend, Amanda Pair.

She has teamed up with some of our other friends for a MEGA exciting give-away. Matt and Ashley of Hampton Road Studios are the master-minds behind "A Day in the Life" videos, and I couldn't be more grateful for their offering. What am I talking about?


If you THINK this is something you want to do, act fast!!! Remember, though, that I still have other photo session opportunities available. Not to make this emotional or anything, but what I wouldn't give to have some images of me and my Mom like these:

Contact me for more information!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remembering Mom #2

I really love this picture. My good friend, Jessica, took some photos for me a few years ago, and Mom IMMEDIATELY wanted one to frame. It's probably the only "solo" picture of me that Mom had framed since I was 5 years old.

When I look at pictures, though, I can't help but see if I can imagine myself without hair. This might be a weird thought to you, but it was the topic of conversation many times in the Beasley home...

Mom lost her hair over and over again during her long battle with cancer. She never seemed to care and really never wore a wig because she felt like it was uncomfortable. I loved the confidence that she had, even without hair. And, I love the way that Dad always adored Mom - hair or no hair.

My sister Candace and I were sitting around, talking with Mom about a year ago, and she said, "Camille, I so hope you never lose your hair. You're going to look just horrible." She went on to explain that the shape of my head has always been too square and that, if I were to lose my hair, I'd look really odd.

I love Mom's humor. I love that Mom's humor didn't end - not when she was at the end of her life, not when she was talking about serious, sad topics. I think that I got a lot of my Mom's humor, and I'm so glad that I did!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Remembering Mom #1

I've been wanting to write for a long time, and I think now is the time...

For those of you who aren't too familiar with where I am in life, my sweet Mommy went to be with Jesus last June. I'm in the middle of a lot of milestones, so my mind is often on her. March 20th would've been her 30th wedding anniversary with my Dad, and March 26th would've been her 54th birthday. Between those times and the impending anniversary of her death, I am often reminded of so many beautiful memories I have of her.

I remember the day she found out that the cancer had gone to her brain. It was March 23rd - smack dab between her anniversary and her birthday. The worst part about the day is that I knew that it was coming. We'd been through so many deadlines and prognoses that I was prepared for bad news at every corner. BUT, she had been doing well. She looked healthy, felt good, took constant care of her grandkids, and was loving the spring season.

Then, it came. Her face became numb. I knew the moment she told me that symptom it meant brain cancer. I prayed, cried, thought, cried some more, and tried to remain strong - until I got the phone call. It was literally the phone call that changed my life forever.

Mom said, "This is the end of my life. I have brain cancer."

I couldn't do anything except drop to the floor. I couldn't move. I tried to stay strong and talk to her about the treatment she was going to go through... But, I couldn't. I just wept, told Mom that I loved her, and said that I would talk with her soon.

I cried for what seemed like hours, my head pounding fiercely. I called my friend, who'd lost a parent to brain cancer, and asked her to come over. I remember that visit vividly, yet I know that I was in another world -- a world that would continue with the worst sleepless days and nights, doctor's office visits and hospital admissions, quiet times at home and sweet times with our family.

When my dear friends had left, I went outside. It was raining, and I sat on my porch with a glass of wine and my journal. Here's a little peak into some of my thoughts that night:

"I wish I could transfer the cancer to me because Mom loves life so well. I wish that she could give it to me and live. I will never know why things like this happen, I don't think. Maybe it is that I do not have enough faith. Strong enough faith. Big enough faith. But I would like to meet the person who has faith big enough to accept this. The darkness in this world seems too dark. Too much. I want to see the light. I know it is there, but I can't find it sometimes. So, I'll just take one step at a time and trust that the mercies that have been promised to me for 24 years will be new each morning for the rest of my life. And Mom's life, too."

Sometimes it's so hard to go through the memories, through my journal, through my pictures, but I love it. I love the memories I have, as miserable as they may be, because they are the signs of the huge love my Mom had for me. And I for her.

Thanks for reading. I'm going to attach a picture with each entry I do because I love pictures. And cherish them now more than I ever have before.