Why I am here

This blog was started to connect with and keep family and friends up to date on life in Texas as I know it. A place to share my love for this area through photography, history, and stories of this adventure Shaun and I call life.... and what an adventure it is!
Warning: Some or all of this blog may contain nuts or stories of nuts, proceed with caution
Love to y'all

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Purpose Project

The Purpose Project

Our families have experienced some pretty life changing events in the past two years. Two seperate battles with cancer, both of which I am thankful to say were battles won and are behind us now. Seeing the emotional and physical toll on everyone involved, building and strengthening relationships that we have all taken for granted for many years have made me see things in a way I never did before.
This picture was taken by my sister in law, it made me realize how important capturing the moment is.
This is Shaun and his mom when he went to visit her in Utah during her chemotherapy treatments. What most people see is a mother and son. What I see is the mental and physical exhaustion that goes with the chemotherapy. The worry on Shaun's face not only for his mom but for his sisters who were there every minute of every day making sure things were taken care of. Of course, the teal wrist band that we all wore to show support and honor all cancer patients. That's what I see, that's what touch's my heart.

This is my brother Kirby, his girls and wife Stacey shortly after her diagnosis and before her cancer treatment. To so many people this looks like an ordinary family picture in a beautiful setting. Looking at it now I see the worry on my brothers face, the disbelief and fear on Staceys face, most importantly I see a FAMILY, a family ready to tackle the fight ahead of them. Which they did very well!

Our family photographs are just that.... OURS! WE know what was going at that moment, good or bad. OUR memories, no one elses.
I have had people act shocked by the fact that I feel the need to capture moments like this. "Who would want to remember such a scary and terrible time in life?" We may not want to remember these times in life but we NEED to remember them, to be reminded of how quickly life can change, to treasure every moment.
After having the "C" word in our life for a while, every time I drove past The American Cancer Society Building I felt the overwhelming urge to stop, to offer to help and give back for what they had done for our family members. What kept me from stopping? Well, honestly how does one approach the subject of offering the service of taking cancer patients and their families pictures without sounding kinda creepy? I called my SIL Colleen and ran it past her, she suggested I volunteer in general, not from a photo standpoint, and then see if there is a need. AWESOME idea! (she has always been the pay it forward girl, one of the many things I love about her)
SO the next day I stopped, I volunteered, and I was very promptly told they weren't accepting volunteers but they would add me to a list. Really? I have worked with several volunteer organizations and never once did we ever turn down volunteers. Don't get me wrong they are an amazing organization who have helped so many people including my family and I am thrilled that they have an over abundance of volunteers..... BUT
I do have to admit I felt a little dejected over the whole thing. That night when I couldn't sleep, I was surfing some photo websites when this popped up on my screen, twice I might add....... OK GOD I get it, thanks for the nudge though

I had been so caught up trying to decide what to do with my life and give back at the same time I hadn't seen the obvious!
SO that's how the Purpose Project came to be. It is not just about cancer patients, that was just the catalyst. It is about the senior who can't afford senior portraits because of situations at home. It's about the elderly person who can't leave the care center to greet that new baby or see the new bride. The tender moment shared with a loved one dealing with Alzhiemers. That is why I chose photography, that is my Purpose.....to capture the truly important moment's in daily life.

Thanks for letting me share this with you

If you know of, or are a part of an organization in East Texas that works with people who would benefit from and treasure some captured memories, please send me a private note jeanne@brickroadphoto.com There is NEVER a charge

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself" Ralph Waldo Emerson