When Paige texted me on Christmas Day sharing that her father, Punk, is not in good health and their family won’t be together again for several more years, I knew I had to make their family session happen. Their family’s story pulls at my heart in a special way during this season of MY family’s life.
For the past several years, Punk’s had unreal medical history. Seriously—the Echols family could write a best-selling novel! The one event that makes my heart ache in a familiar way, is the one when Punk had a complication from a carotid artery surgery. The day before the surgery, he had hiked 15 miles in great health, but woke up from surgery partially paralyzed…a clot had thrown during surgery. His stroke recovery sounds much like what my Dad’s experiences after two massive strokes. Dad’s strokes were a bit different, as they were precipitated by a spontaneous carotid artery dissections (now on both sides), and happened at a much younger age, but the fight it’s taking to recover, and the feelings the families are processing seem much the same.
We got together on New Year’s Day and celebrated life and togetherness. I’ve definitely fallen in love with the Echols family. It’s hard not to. As you scroll through these previews, you’ll see why. 🙂 As Punk shivered form the cold during the session, he said to me that he’d “do anything to make his family happy.” Cue tears! What a sweet man. He’s fathered one of the most outgoing families I know. The camaraderie they have when they’re all together is infectious. In fact, I left the session with smudge eyeliner and a lighter spirit from laughing so hard. (I hope you’re wearing some waterproof makeup for this post!)
Though I’d never wish an occasion like this on any family, this session as fueled me in a new way and has reminded me why I got into this industry. Echols family, I pray that these captures bring your heart joy and bring Punk/Papi “close” to you when he is no longer near. I had so much fun meeting every one of you. I hope we can be back in touch soon! <3