As a mother the horrible events of December 14, 2012 shook me to my core.
I, like all of you, was left feeling helpless. I then discovered The Olivia Act. Started by a photographer who had a beautiful idea.
“Dec. 14, 2012, is a date that will be etched in my memory forever. On that day, 26 people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children, in what was one of our nations deadliest shootings. The images will haunt me for a long time. I cried and cried all weekend long, and I felt I should really do something. I had seen images of Olivia Engel and her family from a professional shoot they had done not that long before little Olivia was killed. I know how much that family must cherish these photos now; so, I thought it was so important to give back using my skill as a photographer. It started out with me just offering a free 30 min. family shoot to a family that might not otherwise have images made, but a lot of other photographers wanted to do the same. So, I created The Olivia Act. I challenge every photographer to do this for a family! You do NOT need to mention my name, just do this out of the goodness of your heart, no matter what city, state, or country you live in. It’s 30 min out of your life and can mean so much to a family.”
I had the incredible honor to meet and photograph a beautiful and brave family a few weeks ago. I am going to let Melissa tell you their story.
“November 16.2012, a date that has been burned into my brain, my family’s life was changed forever. We received news that my 8 year old son had ALL (Leukemia). We were told we could go directly to the hospital that evening or wait until first thing in the morning, so we did not “scare” my son. The next morning, one of my worst fears have become a reality…his pediatrician’s original diagnosis was confirmed.
It was the longest weekend of our lives…waiting for the test results was excruciating. I’ll never forget him looking at me, standing in a hunched over position, with a needle in his chest, hooked up to a medication pole, when he said “mommy, why are you letting them do this to me?” I told him, tears in my eyes, “sweetie, If I could…I would take you away and hide you from this cancer!!!”
We are fortunate in that we have the amazing Golisano Children’s Hospital so close. The staff and doctors have become part of our family. My son has received weekly chemotherapy treatments, since that initial diagnosis; he asks his doctor (Dr. Andy) and nurse (Yvonne) EVERY question he can possible think of (lol), and they are always so wonderful to him! He has shown us what it really is to be a “tough kid”. He’s our inspiration!
Through it all, we have been embraced with the love and support of our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and new friends we have made along the way. The outpour of support has been truly overwhelming and we will NEVER be able to return all the kindness that has been shown to us.
One amazing family, who was about six months ahead of us in treatment, came to our room that first weekend and spoke to us about what was ahead. I asked the mom “how do you do this?” and she responded “you’ll learn to develop a “new normal ”. That’s exactly what we have done; we have carried this philosophy with us on our journey. Things are definitely different for our family, but my son is currently in remission and even though we still have a very long road ahead of us…we enjoy every moment we have together…I have a little sculpture of the saying, Every Day Matters, and we try to always remember that because in reality, none of us are promised tomorrow, so embrace your today……we do.
Thank you Heather for the “gift” of allowing us to make some memories of our “present”!
The Hysick Family”
I asked Parker to kiss his sister. ha! They did not like that idea.
It was a real pleasure spending time with the Hysick family xoxo
Every December I will be accepting nominations for a new family to receive a session, please feel free to “like’ Heather Rodriguez Photography on Facebook to stay up to date on news and session giveaways