I started working on this post over two weeks ago and got totally sidetracked. One of the things I love about my work is how involved I am in these pinnacle moments of peoples lives. A few days before I planned to post this, I was rocked by the death of someone I adored. Her daughters are good friends of mine, and I’m doing her youngest daughters wedding flowers in August. Laurie (the mom) had been battling cancer for 3 years, and she had a very quick and unexpected end. When she started to drastically deteriorate, her daughter Caitlin decided to up her wedding date to Saturday 2.9 so her mom could be there. We collaborated together on how to make a beautiful wedding ceremony at Cedar Sinai. Whether it should be outside under a flowering tree perfectly in bloom, if they should just do it in the hospital chapel, or if her mom couldn’t make it that far, in the family waiting room down the hall. Everything was set and we were so (cautiously) excited to see it come together. Friday morning (2.8) as I was working on Caitlin’s bouquet, I was told her mom had passed. “She’s gone.” was the text I received. Heartbroken completely describes how I felt. Heartbroken and furiously angry. I just kept cussing over and over. I couldn’t believe this woman, who was a model to me for kindness, truth, love, and perfected priorities, could be taken so early. Her older daughter, one of my best friends, is due with the first baby in the family this April. Her mom didn’t even make it to hold her first grandbaby. There are days when the reality of this seems impossible.
But then I went on and finished the two weddings I had for that Saturday. And a funny thing happened. Both of my brides for that weekend are named Caitlin. The other sweet Caitlin invited me to her ceremony. It was so incredibly beautiful. It moved me, and it gave me a renewed love for what I do, and for life in general. At the end of the ceremony the pastor told the guests that the bride and grooms kiss in front of everyone was THEIR FIRST KISS EVER. I sat there with my mouth agape. I couldn’t believe it. I am not a religious person at all, but I can deeply respect people’s beliefs. Especially when they live their life so in line with those beliefs. These two people, crazy beautiful, talented, smart, etc., chose to stay true to their faith, and to each other, over a more fleeting satisfaction.
It was as though that weekend was a reminder to me of the balance of life's beauty. The one Caitlin, who lost her mom the day before her wedding, and the other Caitlin who had never even kissed her groom before that day. That the end of one life is typically followed by the beginning of another. Extreme loss is paired with significant and impassioned gain. The fact that I get to be a part of these moments, no matter how small, makes me incredibly grateful. And like I’m doing the right thing with my life.
I also thought it was a beautiful end to Oak & the Owl’s first year in business. We celebrated our first year anniversary on 2.10.2013.
For a little anniversary celebration I put together a sort of year in review for this post. I didn’t share everything we did, but just looking at all these photos makes me a little tired, while at the same time completely invigorated for our second year. Lol. I just finished my taxes and the amount of money I spent on shoots is ridiculous. Yet without all of them, I know I wouldn’t have had as successful a year. So that being said, I hope you enjoy the review. And I’m confident I’ll be back next week with another post. A real wedding from last December. (Although, considering this is a few weeks late, I don’t want to promise anything. ;-)) Cheers! xo
In loving memory of Laurie Zweber Talbert.
2.10.1952 – 2.8.2013
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