I tend to be a horrible photographer. Actually, I should just not use the words “I” or “photographer” in the same sentence unless I am saying, “I am hiring a photographer.” But, as I was flipping through my phone’s images, I came across the one above which I took last week.
You see on the left is my grandmother, Meema, my sweet baby girl and my Mom. As I was behind the lens, four generations of women are interconnected in this shot. I am in love. My heart is full. It is a picture that I know I will forever cherish.
My Meema, who has fought her whole life… fought, I state again, and fought hard, she taught me from a young age about resilience. Her life story which we often joke to each other would make for a great and no doubt successful New York Times Best Seller, is a story of overcoming tragedy with grace. Sometimes, I look at her and think how failure was not an option, how forgiveness was her motto and how circumstances did not harden her and I am in awe. With each downfall, each set-back, when most would give up, my grandmother pushed through, developing the best strength there is in this world… inner strength. To me, she is a fighter.
My Mother, the most selfless person I have ever met always has put others before her. She had me at such a young age and put so many dreams on the back burner. Four children later, her calling in life I am sure was to be a caretaker and nurturer. Hands down, God put her on this earth to care for others. Now with four out of five of her children being adults, in a time where she could finally relax and put herself first, she now takes care of my Grandmother who truly needs her for her health and my own baby, who she cares for so I can continue to have a professional life and career. She does this with such ease as if it was her profession. I know she will never live on this earth and understand her impact on so many.
When I look at my daughter I think of how she has fortunately inherited many characteristics from the women before, and beside her. But, then naturally fear sets in on how I will ever capture and share just a small portion of what they have for me, for her and my mind drifts as I imagine and pray for the woman my daughter will be one day.
I am sure you have heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As I look at this image I think, “how true?” and for myself and Baby Lo, how lucky? My life was and is forever shaped by strong women, two of which are featured above.
I can with full certainty accredit my successes and one day parting gifts to this world, to these women in my life. I don’t quite know yet who my daughter will be. I don’t quite know what characteristics and strengths I will impart on her life. But, I do know if I am half of the beauty, grace, strength and love of these two, and she half of that, well then, we as a village have done our work.