April 20, 2019

The Significance in a Date

Four. Twenty Three.

Some dates stand out in your memory and remain highlighted for the rest of your life.

It was a windy day. I had a local wedding to shoot in Colington. I was in a fog when I walked into the venue- but remember thinking of the irony in the purple decor, in light of Prince’s recent passing. The true irony was that my brain was allowing me to focus on anything but the black cloud hanging over my head.

My Daddy was in the hospital. The sand was running out in his hourglass of life and there was nothing I could do to slow it down.

“He has pancreatic cancer,” I told my {amazing} photog-assistant, Dana.

A little over two weeks, he left us for heaven.

Each year, 4.23 begins the remember where we were in 2016...today, we were transferred to different hospital...today, he said he was sorry he had to go- and promised to visit my dreams...today, he got taken off all his IVs and danced into the hallway- fell & got a black eye. Our memories drive us down the path we walked, and remind us how short life truly is.

As difficult as it is to relive some of those memories, I wouldn't trade them for the world. I soak in every detail, every tear drop, every smile, every bit of every memory...


I ran my first ever half marathon in Daddy’s honor. It was the perfect distraction for a date so significant in our lives. I felt him with me the entire run, whispering words of encouragement.

Mama stood proudly at the finish line, wearing his hat, and while tears flowed down my face- so much symbolism hit me. I finished my race...on a date that began Daddy’s race to his heavenly home. #13.1mileswillmakeyouthink


I went to work and cried silently at my desk. I kept the significance of the date to myself.

I felt like my insides were going to explode. Note to self: #dontdothatagain


It will be my mom’s last day as director of Roanoke Island Presbyterian Daycare. God chose her, almost 30 years ago, to do his work in a childcare ministry...something she’d never done before. She has not only been a director, teacher, and friend to many, but a mother to the babies and young parents she served. Now, God is telling her to rest and enjoy watching the ministry grow from the outside.

My mom is a glass-is-half-full kind of person. It can rain for days and she will remind you how beautiful the garden will be because of it. I know she chose this day to redirect our sadness into something happy. Daddy’s dream for her was to retire and enjoy life’s little details, without the worry of what she was falling behind on.

This year, I am looking forward to celebrating 4.23 and all of the lives mom has touched throughout her career. I can’t wait to get the phone call on a random Wednesday morning, from a happy retiree in her beach chair in the sand.

Happy Retirement, Mama!!

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