Monday, June 1, 2009

A Mother's Love

Last Saturday God gave me another opportunity to serve using photography at the Brenden Krannitz Memorial 5k. It was an incredible, beautiful day that I was privileged to be a part of.

Brenden was a student at Fisher Catholic and is the nephew of my friend Kristin. I got to know his family when I took their portrait at their house. Brenden was 15 when he was diagnosed with Melanoma. His family and friends rallied around him and the image above was one that I took to represent their closeness. A few months later, Brenden passed and is greatly missed by many. This race raised money for a scholarship in his honor at Fisher.

Brenden's mother is tireless in her effort to honor Brenden's memory and make some good come from his death. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Watching her put her energy into her two other children, B and K, as she plans and carries out the activities of race day is inspiring. Her commitment to increasing awareness of the dangers of excessive sun exposure is also changing lives. Seeing Amy in action on race day is one of the reasons I love going.This is Brenden's brother, B, with the beloved Father Franks from St. Mary.

This year Andy raced and despite a somewhat difficult (hilly) course, beat his personal goal! He also got third place in his age group and received a really cool medal! Here he is getting ready for the race and helping me get my settings right for the starting line.As a photographer, I get to observe people in a non-threatening way. Some people are uncomfortable having their picture taken but most people don't notice me or they just accept that I'm doing a job. Plus, it is my responsibility to look for the details of the day to help tell the story. One other "picture story" really touched my heart.

My 8 year old daughter (Muffin) took gymnastics this year and one of the girls from her class, A, was in the race with her mom and brother. I took pictures at the start and then waited at the finish line. I saw A's brother finish but didn't see his mom and sister. I waited a while and then I saw the brother and asked if his mom and sister had finished. He said, "Look, here they come!" Coming around the final bend, they began to pick up speed, as most of the runners do in the final stretch. But look carefully at this sequence of pictures. To me it was the perfect visual reminder of a mother's love:
Notice how Cindy (the mom) is so close she is almost touching her daughter in the first picture. As they near the finish, Cindy begins to slowly distance herself, allowing A to finish the race and bask in the glory of her achievement.

This is something that most moms do without even thinking about it. But it should not be overlooked and was a great encouragement to me, a mom. The joy of seeing your child begin and then accomplish a difficult task is so great that all the sacrifice on the part of the parent are forgotten and deemed completely unimportant. This is what moms do: we sacrifice, encourage, challenge, train, prepare, and then we watch. And every once in awhile, we see them finish the race.

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