I have taken my time to write about this session. It's been in my heart for awhile. Stirring and churning and waiting. It had to wait. For reasons I'm not really sure of. But here it is and here we are, and my heart is all sorts of wide open right at this very moment.

My mom died in 2011. It sucked. It was the worst thing I have ever gone through. But, my mom herself, outside of the disease that riddled her body, was awesome. She poured her heart into being a mom. She was my very bestest friend. Losing her was like losing a huge part of myself. For months after she passed away, I would find myself picking up my phone to try to text her, and then have to quietly tuck my phone away because she wasn't available to me in that way anymore.

Every July, on the anniversary of her death, I never knew how to properly acknowledge it. Some years, I cried. Some years, it was like just another day. Memories came back in waves - both happy and sad. This past year, right before what would have been her 59th birthday, I had an idea to give away a wedding package in her honor to a couple who had experienced a similar loss.

The moment I read Alexa's application for this wedding coverage, she had me hooked. Her soul and my soul had always been good friends, I knew that as soon as I opened her email. And something beautiful was coming out of our heart-wrenching losses. 

The days up to this precious engagement session took a toll on me. I didn't realize it then, but now, I know. Being vulnerable is exhausting. Being heart-wide-open is exhausting. But it's important. And it's healing. And I don't think there is any better way to pay homage to my mom than to do something like this.

It helps to walk alongside someone in days like these. It helps to share our memories, and to take the time to remember. It helps to lean into the hard times to come out better, wiser, more compassionate. Helping...helps.

Alexa and I are meeting up for a date today. There's so much more I want to write about. So many nuances and signs and blessings that have been poured over our friendship. But I think those stories will have to wait for another day. <3

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