In memory of a very special person

After spending all day thinking about the family of one of my dearest friends and the terrible loss they have suffered today, I feel like I need to share.  Today, an amazing man left this earth.  One that I feel like has been around in my life almost as long as anyone in my own family.  If you knew my friend Allie’s Zayde, you would know what I mean.  He was one of the kindest, spunkiest, and most incredible people I have known.  He lit up a room, was always the life of the party, and was someone that could immediately make you feel loved and comfortable….no matter where or who you were.  He loved his wife more than anyone I know, and it showed.  He was the true meaning of family man.  He was larger than life, and someone who no matter how much time had passed since our last get together, made it seem like none at all.

Zayde’s favorite person in “my world” was my husband, Tony.  In 2003, Tony saved my girlfriends and I in Santee, South Carolina in the middle of the night when our car broke down.  Every time Zayde saw Tony for almost 10 years after that, he would thank Tony for saving his granddaughter and would tell him what a great guy he was.  He would of course follow that up with what a pretty girl he was married to and then would of course try to dance with me, if dancing was even a little bit appropriate at that particular get together.  Tony loved the attention, loved to tell the story to anyone who would listen, and of course we all loved Zayde.  His enthusiasm would lead you to believe Tony had lifted a car off of his Allie and saved her from impending doom.

So when I found out that Zayde was gone this morning, I was immediately flooded with emotions.  The conflicting emotions that hit you when someone leads a long and amazing life….but then you realize that everyone they touched will be left without them.  I wanted to share just a few of my favorite pictures that I think show you what a character Zayde was.  I was lucky to know him and his family very well, and am so grateful to call them my friends all these years later.

Being a photographer is such an amazing opportunity.  One that means a lot to me.  People bring you into their lives on their best days.  You see a glimpse of the “big stuff”.  The things they want to remember forever.  You preserve their memories, their love, their youth, and in a lot of ways, the people they are.  And when people leave this earth, this is what you are left with.  Pictures, memories, and little tidbits of these fleeting moments that you wish you could cuddle up with and hold tightly to forever.  It is truly an honor, and something that I think is so important.  I was so lucky to photograph two Pearlman weddings over the last few years.  But it was as a friend that I saw this family, and as a friend that I write this tonight.  I know that this family is going through unimaginable pain tonight as we all do when we lose someone we love.  But I also know that they have found time to remember this man…the way he would want to be remembered….with laughter.  Because that is something you could always count on Zayde for….to MAKE YOU LAUGH.

Zayde…..we will miss you, and don’t worry….every once in a while, I will remind Tony that he saved the day all those years ago.  We will laugh, and we will think of you.  And of course more regularly I will remind him of what a pretty girl he married.

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