Phew. 2019 has had some ups and downs. My father-in-law, Jerry, became ill last April, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. We soon found out he had sepsis, and was very weak. The prognosis didn't look good, and it was going to be a tough battle for his life. He eventually passed a month later on May 18. At 82 we knew his time was coming to an end, but this didn't make it any easier on us. Saying goodbye was hard because he was such a staple in our life. My husband was very close to his father, and our hearts were broken.
What came next for us was the full time care of my mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer's. We weren't prepared for the difficulties of living with this disease and it rocked our world. What we learned is that the severity can be hidden well as patients can compensate. What you notice is that details are missing. She didn't really call me by my name, and didn't reference memories like visiting us when we lived out of state As the months passed, it was hard to find anything beautiful. I was struggling with the sadness of our loss as we watch our parents age and just couldn't find the motivation to photograph. It was a sort of depression, but mostly just sadness. I lost that drive to create something beautiful. I considered selling my equipment and giving it up. I deleted my Facebook business page, and thought, I am just not sure I can do this anymore. As the cloud began to lift, and our life's puzzle pieces were being put back together, I started to photograph again. The joys of life have begun to emerge again and I feel like I am back.
I will say, Alzheimer's is horrible. It robs you. You want the person you had back but there is nothing you can do. I decided to photograph Joyce. What I hoped to photograph, to capture, was the human spirit, her positive energy, her great attitude. But even through the dementia/Alzheimer's, she remembered that she hates having her picture made and kept saying, "I'm going to break your camera" and things like that. Below are some photographs I shot of her while she lived with us.
Photography is a journey, kind of like life. There are ups and downs, growing pains and exciting moments. Capturing moments has been an important part of my life and I am so thrilled to feel that creativity again!
For booking information, please contact me at Paige@paigehendersonstudio.com or 985.503.8229.