When I was in middle school, I helped out at a nursing home with a volunteer group. I got to know one of the gentlemen there quite well, and looked forward to chatting with him once a week after school. His name was John, and he had these steel grey eyes that could look straight to your soul. In my middle school world, where most of my peers looked straight at my old, dirty, out-of-style clothes and my awful hair styling; having someone look at me and see right through that to my character was a welcome and beautiful thing. John and I would sit together, and he always had a tight grip on my hand, grasping for some connection. One day, as my mom waited outside to pick me up, I tried to pry my hand from his, and hurry out the door with a “Goodbye, John!” He grabbed my hand even tighter. He stopped me for a minute. Commanded my attention with his grey eyes. “Not goodbye. Never goodbye. Just ‘see ya.'” I couldn’t always understand what he was saying, but this message was clear. He stared intensely into my eyes and he smiled – not with his mouth, but with his eyes. He wanted to make sure I heard what he was saying. That I understood.
I couldn’t help thinking of John as I was editing this family’s farewell to Columbus session. It’s not goodbye – just “see ya.”
I have been photographing this family since their littlest had these cute, sweet little rolls of chub on herself. Gah!We’ve had many a session since then, and now their time in Columbus has come to an end. But maybe not a goodbye forever, just a “see ya.” They have so many memories here, and wonderful family and friends – I am positive they’ll be back, at least for visits.
They are moving and starting a whole new album of memories, so we had to make this session extra awesome. We visited all the places they love to be. First we stopped at their grandparents’ old home with a caboose in the backyard (no joke!). We made grass angels… …and laughed A LOT. We headed over to their old neighbor’s house, where many a cookout, many a popsicle, and many a memory had been had. The kids played hide and seek… …and got silly with the neighbor friend. Popsicle power!!! And we finished off our time together downtown, where the skyline could be the backdrop for their goodbye. In this next one, I was all, “Ok, girls, I’m going to get a picture of mom and dad!” And they were all, “Fantastic! We’ll dance in front of them!” And I love it. This last image is one of my favorites. Erika’s feet were hurting from her shoes, so she took them off. But we had to walk through some gravel, so Craig gave her his shoes and walked through barefoot.
What a beautiful family.I cried along with Erika on the phone when she told me what had been happening with their family and how it was time to move on. This family is one of those examples of clients who become friends. I adore them. I will miss you, Rutherfords, but I know this new path is going to be incredible for you!!! See ya!
To see more of this beautiful family, you can check out their previous session here! And if you’d like me to document YOUR family’s time in Columbus, tell me all about it here! Excited to hear from you!