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on Oct 18, 2010 in Friday Thoughts

I Know of No Greater Gift!

I met Monica, I don’t know 5 or 7yrs ago. If you met Monica, you would never forget her because she just oozes life, seriously, you can’t shut her up or deter her smile or laugh! She signed up to be in my MLP and all she owned was a point and shoot camera. That’s a bit below minimum requirements. But there was something about this lady though, something in her letter that just said, “ACCEPT ME, I’M VERY SPECIAL!” The fact she had fought and beaten breast cancer not once, but twice definitely captured my heart along with her unbridled desire to master photography. Then there is this thing she has for life, it’s infectious. There is no doubt she had her hands full with me and I know there were times she wanted to be Homer with me Bart and just make my eyes pop out. There were also times she cried on my shoulder. She’s a very special lady!

One of the great blessings of photography has been meeting folks like Monica! Over the years we have kept in touch and like these two images, she shares with me her triumphs and she has had many winning many awards, becoming president of her club and best of all, carrying on the greatest tradition in photography, inspiring others with her photographs. All this while she is once again battling stage 4 breast cancer, the bastard came back! Despite having lived through me as a mentor and cancer, she’s never once complained, never given up but always, always carried on with a camera in her hand sharing her passion for life with everyone she meets with the biggest smile on the planet.

She doesn’t know this, but there have been times when feeling sorry for myself for some petty photographic thing not going the way I want it, her email would show up in my email box and I would instantly feel ashamed knowing what this lady has gone through to be a photographer. That’s why I’m sharing Monica’s story with you. I asked her if it was OK and she said yes, that’s just her nature, but she didn’t know what I was going to say. Photographic problems don’t amount to a hill of beans compared to battling for your life. When you meet someone like Monica who while she is battling for her life, she’s battling more to grab your heartstrings with her images, you simply can’t find more inspiration for your photography. We are so fortunate as photographers to be able to pursue our passion that moans and groans really don’t fit. We all could take a play from Monica’s playbook and be better for it. It’s real simple, she just wants to make folks smile with her life and photography. Personally, I know of no greater gift! Thanks Monica…God’s speed!