Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Portraits of a beautiful person.

In my job I am blessed to know some amazing people. I meet them in an intimate setting: as their nurse as they navigate their terminal illness to the end. It can create personal heartbreak, yes, knowing that the people you grow so fond of are not long for this world, but it all feels worth it. I meet amazing people that do amazing things. I meet people ready to see the end, people fighting their diagnoses, and people that simply live each day to its fullest, with a unique intention that a terminal illness can bring.

I have been blessed with the honor of knowing a woman named Christi. Christi is very much alive, and during my months as her nurse her optimism has been simply enchanting. She was dealt such a crappy card in this life, but she smiles like no one I've ever seen. She is kind, she is appreciative, and really, I have grown quite fond of her. I have returned to my favorite local hospice agency, so she is no longer my patient; she is now my friend. As her friend she has given me permission to photograph her, not only the beautiful, shining self that she is, but the harder, more sick parts that are very much a part of her reality. She does not hide her cancer, it is a part of her now, just as her pain pump that is constantly infusing medicine into her is a part of her. Just as her colostomy and nephrostomy tubes are a part of her, the cane that she must use because her gait is too unsteady to walk without it. Just as the smile that she gives when she sees you is a part of her. The compliments she always doles out, and the attitude that keeps on looking at the positive; these are a part of her. She is multi-facted. She is beautiful. 

Thank you Christi for letting me take these special photos of you and your mama. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. Thank you for making my life even more meaningful having known you. You are a special human being.



Jamie Weatherly said...

very well done Summer :)

Summer Nicklasson said...

Thanks Jamie. I'm proud of this shoot

Kimberly McCarty said...

Beautifully done and put.