I think I took this picture, but I’m not 100% sure. I’m positive about the location and occasion however and the moment is such a vivid memory, that I’m almost positive I was behind the camera. If not, I was at least a witness. This photograph was taken immediately following my niece Lauren’s Confirmation at Holy Rosary Church in Hilmar in the Spring of 2011. (Sierra is her sponsor.) But that’s not why the photograph is priceless.
Pictured on the right is my niece, Lauren and on the left, her very best friend, Karly Barker. You don’t have to know anything about either one of them to know they are beautiful spirits with shining personalities. They are filled with love and grace and most of all a specific, difficult to describe, sense of joy that is contagious for everyone around them. These two are special, and that extends beyond their bond as friends. They are a gift to us all.
This image is the perfect example of why I love the art of photography. In the blink of an eye, this picture became a priceless treasure when this world lost Karly in the Summer of 2013. In an instant this “thing” went from a simple, fun, visual reminder to treasured memory that invokes a series of new emotions that were not originally attached to it. With Karly’s death, this and all the other images of this sweet girl have new life, new purpose. No longer do we take the moments for granted. No longer do we look and simply smile and remember. Now, we feel and recognize the gift of life in those we love.
Now, we see with our heart, and not just our eyes. That is a powerful gift and all of the images we possess have the very same potential.