Thanksgiving 2000. I was ten. It was my first Thanksgiving where I got to join my oldest cousin, Kristina and my grandma to help make Thanksgiving dinner. I was so excited to be a part of the preparation fun. I always thought my grandma was such a superhero to be able to make so many pies, a turkey and all the “fixins” in one morning. I always wanted to be a part of the magic.

So with giddy spirits Kristina and I walked through the pasture that morning to our grandma’s house. The kitchen was already filled with yummy smells and pies were lined up on the table. We had “oldies” music playing. I remember giggling at Kristina having to stick her fingers in slimy oysters and how I got the responsibility of making the gravy aka stir and stir and stir and stir.  Singing, dancing and giggling. The perfect Thanksgiving morning. Then the phone rang. Kristina and I darted after it in a race to get to it first like we always did. She won and answered. Then quickly passed the phone to my grandma. Standing in her kitchen my grandma firmly grabbed my arm and all I could think was “did I do something wrong?” She hung up the phone and rushed out the front door leaving us with only saying “It’s Rodney. Watch the food. I’ll be back.” My dad and oldest brother were both named Rodney so I didn’t know which she was referring to. When I left that morning my oldest brother was on the lawn mower and my dad and little sister were leaving for the grocery store. So which one was it?

We sat there and waited. Then everything in my memory is blank. I guess someone told me it was my Dad and little sister, Anna. They were in a car accident and were gone.

We had some photos of them. Portraits as a family taken at a simple indoor studio. Candid shots at birthday parties and family gatherings. But none of what I have stored in my memory. Jumping on the trampoline was Anna’s favorite. She would beg for me to constantly take her outside to “jump”. We shared a room and at night we would lay in her little toddler bed and read stacks of books.

My Dad would take me to a mini mart down the road from our house to get a Yoo-hoo and Push up popsicle. The entire way the windows would be down, he would sing at the top of his lungs and tickle me when I wasn’t looking…

Memories…. Moments in my mind. They’re only there. I can’t view them anywhere else. Not on my walls or in an album. Only in my mind.

My “why” behind my business has always been driven from the losses in my life. I don’t want anyone to ever look back on life and only have a few fuzzy memories in their mind. I want their stories hanging on the wall or in a book that can be held in their hands.

I don’t ever want to flat out ask a client “If today was your last day with this person what would you want to never forget? What about their personality do you want to see alive in a photo?” But ask yourself, what is it? What do you never want to forget about this season in your life? Ask your kids. What in their little mind is their favorite about life and the people in it?

The purpose of the Capturing Love Project is to give people their memories even if they don’t see the beauty in the raw moments they are going through. Some may not have the funds because something else is pulling it all away or they have made it through a rough season and all they can say is “we’ve made it. We’re here.”

No matter what life throws our way we still have to focus on those little things that bring us peace, things that bring us joy. They need to be documented so we can look at those treasured moments…

Do you know someone you would like to nominate to be a part of the Capturing Love Project?