When deciding on what I should write about when it comes to Marty & Dana, my brain fills up with heart felt emotions and I could burst. I can narrow it down to how long I have known Marty or how his mom taught me in the 4th grade or how his father taught me in high school. I could narrow things down to when I met Dana for the first time and how we have been collaborating on art & digital graphic projects for many years now. How about the time, when Marty proposed to Dana on a mountain in the Sierras, their wedding in the wine country or how Dana introduced me to her family and how I feel like I am one step closer to being an adopted niece by all of them. I have photographed them together for many years now, and I will continue to do so for a very, very long time. All these moments I have with Dana and Marty can not come close to what I am going to write about.
We are in a club together. It is a club where only a few young people I know are in. We share sadness, loss, grief and the life experiences no one should ever go through at a young age. 7 years ago, I lost my father to cancer and my mother who passed away unexpected last year and has torn my heart in two. Marty's father, Pete, passed away years prior & Dana's mother, Laura & father, Ron both left this earth too early. You see, this club is not one to want to be in, but if I have to be in it, I am grateful and lucky to have these two people right by my side. We share this unspoken bond with each other. We know that our days are not the same as they were. We can never get those moments back with our loved ones and there are far too many times when we tell everyone that things are great, when they are not. That is what we do. We know life goes on. We make for new memories and because we have seen death stare us straight in the eyes, I can honestly say, there is nothing we can not do. We do not give up. We continue on and on.
Marty & Dana will be parents soon. They will soon stare into the eyes of their newborn son. They will gain hope. They will see Pete, Laura & Ron again behind those tiny hands and wrinkled little feet. I think it is amazing how the circle continues. How a new generation of The Jones' & Weeks' family will be here soon. Even through loss, there is also life. There is hope. Love. I am pretty excited about all this.
I do not have any children, but I have my art. I have a talent that can guide me into a direction of ease and comfort. I allow myself to give up control and gain confidence behind my lens. I feel my mom and dad with me at every shoot. I can hear them tell me to never give up, to become better...to make the next image even more beautiful and powerful as the last. This is my hope, my life and love. This is Erin.