A “Summer” Day | A Day in the Life Family Session | Philadelphia, PA

April 10, 2019 A “Summer” Day | A Day in the Life Family Session | Philadelphia, PA

This post is very hard for me to write. I’ve tried, multiple times, on my other site to do this post and do it justice.

Laura is a friend of mine from a former life. We met while planning our weddings through a message board on TheKnot. I’m no longer married, and she’s now widowed. Life changes… yet some things are constant, and thankfully Laura’s presence in my life is one of those things. While Laura was pregnant with Summer, her husband Dave was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive type of kidney cancer called Renal Medullary Carcinoma. The prognosis wasn’t great, but they kept their spirits high. Through various medical trials and treatments, Dave was able to buy some extra time.

About a year after his diagnosis, I reached out to Laura and offered to do a Day in the Life session for them and their six month old at the time. Unfortunately life ended up getting in the way and between weather conflicts and Dave’s treatments, it didn’t end up happening. The following winter I offered again and we made it happen. I wanted to be able to show Summer how loved she was by her daddy.

It was a hard day. Dave was in a lot of pain and had limited mobility. He had to rest a lot, so much of the day was Summer with her mommy. Still, there were some sweet real life every day moments that we were able to capture, and although it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for and pictured in my mind, the real value of these photos is immeasurable.

Almost exactly a month after I visited with them, Dave passed away.

This winter I went up again to visit with Laura and Summer and we talked about the session and how it wasn’t quite what we had had in mind and although that was devastating, there was also a fair amount of beauty in it. Summer also sat on the couch with me, with Laura’s phone in hand, scrolling through the videos and showing me her favorites of her and daddy. Because of his cancer, Dave was on disability and home with Summer in a stay at home dad role, which he took very seriously. They enjoyed visits to Sesame Place, and took a ton of sweet selfie videos. Summer pulled up a picture of mommy and daddy and kissed them both on the phone and hugged it close. Although I was a little too late to capture the energetic, doting, fun-loving father that Dave was throughout his time with Summer – it brought me so much joy to know that he was wise enough to capture it for her.

  • Joanne
    Posted at 21:47h, 10 April Reply

    This is so special!! To preserve these memories for both Summer and Laura is just priceless. Your perspective in both the pictures and in your commentary will mean so much to them as they look back on this. I added the link to your FB page as Laura’s perspective is beautiful as well. (Summer can find it all in one place when she comes looking for it.)

    Thank you Laura for sharing your story with us. As heartbreaking as it is… it is also incredibly beautiful.

    As always Brea, you captured the day beautifully.


  • Anna Arpasi
    Posted at 20:35h, 11 April Reply

    Reading this story and looking through the images honestly brought me to tears and left me speechless at the same time. There are no words but what a beautiful gift you gave this family.

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