Words escape me about April 23rd. Which is probably why it’s taken me SO long to blog about this.
The day is designed to honor the memory of Seamus Johnston. And last year was a really hard year. Hard for Tom and Sharon to be back in the NICU (the first time for Sharon), hard to relive the sounds/smells/sights of a place that broke their hearts and hard for us to watch them go through such a tough day. In the end, though, it was joyful. Sharon DID make it back into the NICU and was so proud of herself for being so strong. The families we were able to bless were SO grateful and happy to have us there. There were SO many instances (the Johnstons call them “God-instances”) when we just KNEW Seamus was there with us that day. It was so hard but so good.
And this year was just different. Tom and Sharon were stronger as they walked back with confidence, they got to meet and talk with each family as we worked, they got to laugh and catch up with their favorite nurses and Kim, Missy and I did the job we came to do. For me, personally, it was emotional but not as hard as last year. In fact, I actually was looking forward to the day b/c I knew first hand the joy we were able to bring to these families and prayed this year would be just as joyful. Just as full of blessings. And it was. The babies we met were amazing, each in their own way. The families so strong and full of faith. As Tom mentioned to me later, it was just more about the families this year and less about Seamus.
And even though at first I cringed when he said that, like we’d failed him and Sharon somehow, now, I think that’s he’s right and it’s ok. It wasn’t as much about Seamus and I bet that’s how Seamus would have wanted it. I think it’s ok that there were less tears and more laughter this year. I think it’s ok that it was easier, that we were able to shoot more families b/c we knew what to expect and that there were less God-instances. Because we were honoring Seamus by being in the moment for those other babies and their families. Not focusing so much on our grief in losing Seamus gave us hearts ready to meet and photograph these babies. Hearts full of joy and not so much sorrow. I could be wrong, but I think it was a blessing this year was so much easier. The Johnstons had little Mac at home waiting for them and if I were to guess, I bet that’s just how Seamus wanted it.
I have a bunch of photos to share with you! Tons! And I’m going to give you a little bit of info about each of these miraculous babies! Let’s start with…
1. Remington Fletcher Warhurst
Parents: Jason and Carly