I was given the opportunity to photograph the Hegewald family this past spring. I only come out of my "photography retirement" for special occasions. This was one of those occasions. My friend Kim's sister changed her plans for spring break and was coming to Utah instead. They had just learned that her husband Kevin was diagnosed with cancer. He was given a really tough prognosis. It was a last minute decision for them...and I was given the privilege of taking their family pictures.
I expected to see some somber faces...but all I saw was hope. They were filled with optimism and joy. There were smiles...after smiles...after jokes...after smiles. It was my first opportunity to meet them---yet I felt that we were fast friends. I came away knowing that if anyone could beat a grim prognosis it was the Hegewald family...with Kevin leading the way.
Although Kevin passed away last night, I believe he beat cancer. He fought with faith, optimism and humor. He held fast to the love of his family and friends. He knows that we are eternal beings experiencing a mortal life...and that the journey goes on forever. The words he left on his blog yesterday, through his wife Abby, have been an important reminder. Earlier in the week, I was facing a few challenges---that through my attitude (stress & worry), became much bigger than they really are. Our challenges are part of life to make us stronger and to help us learn. As I face mine, whatever they might be, I hope that I will always remember the smiles that the Hegewald family brought to their photo shoot and try to be more like them.