A Different Kind of Photo Shoot

  Family shoots are usually fun, light-hearted events, but sometimes, we have to take a different approach to a Photo shoot.

  This shoot was different.

This shoot provoked laughter AND tears, because this shoot was taken out of urgency.

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The kind of urgency you get when you receive bad news.

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  Dale’s father, not yet 60, was just diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  Scan_Pic0011

More spots then they can count on his liver, and spots in his lungs too.

We aren’t going down without a fight, both with the doctor and chemo, and natural remedies too. But it didn’t change our feelings on the timing of this Family Photo Shoot.  Some things you just don’t realize you need to do, until you think that maybe soon you won’t get the chance anymore.  

  We wanted to take Papa Dons photo BEFORE the Chemo took it’s toll on his body and his appearance. 

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  There have been many, many tears shed at our house and many difficult decisions to make, and paperwork to fill out.  

  There have been many serious talks, some with tears, some without, about what was happening to Papa.  

Because of this, the children decided to make Papa Don cards, listing all the reasons they love him. They worked so hard on their pictures.  


We decided at the photo shoot would be a perfect time to give them to him……

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  We are believing in Faith, in a God who is the Great I AM.  The perfect Healer.  And we will pray and fight with and for Don until the end, no matter what the end holds. 

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  That’s the hardest part about all this,

Praying and believing for the best, yet having to take all steps to prepare and plan for the worst.

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  But I know this, our Heavenly Father has plans for Papa Don, plans to bring him hope and a future…..IMG_4785 bw copy tight crop

  And until we know those plans, our job is to make each day count as if it were his last. 

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  But that’s the funny part about all this,

Any of us, at any time could be living our last days, minutes, moments.

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  So here’s to saying I love you,

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I care about you,

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You are an amazing example to our children,

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You make us laugh,

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We admire you and your quiet strength,

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Thank you……….Don 10

And here’s to spending just a few more seconds in that hug good bye each time you come over…..

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  For this Earth is not our home……

We are all here but a moment in time.


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Update:  God is so so good!  We have been pursuing both chemo and natural treatments via The Life Vessel and we have some amazing news.  Don’s markers in his blood were over 8,000 his first visit, and the doctor frankly told him he shouldn’t even be here.  2 months later: his marker count came back at 4,000!  Praise God for His healing touch, and may He continue to bring healing to Don’s body as he fights this cancer.  Thank you for your prayers!


17 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Photo Shoot

  1. Lifting your family up in prayer. I pray for total healing for Don & peace that surpasses all understanding for all of you. We serve a faithful God who takes what the devil meant for harm & uses it for good! God Bless you all 🙂

  2. My Father in law was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in June 2012. We almost lost him twice. Praise God he is in remission now. Don’t loose hope! Will keep everyone in my prayers! Michelle from Nebraska

  3. Oh Tonya, I am so sorry for all of this. It is so hard to go thru this. But, it does make it easier to know that you WILL see him again no matter what!:)
    I know some of what you are feeling. My F-I-L has Parkinson’s and it is hard to watch someone who just a few years ago could run and chase the kids and worked right along side his sons could not have to use a walker and cane to get around and can’t stand still for fear of falling over.(He too, is only 61)
    We have started getting together every summer for a long weekend vacation with all of Hubby’s brothers and there families. It is good to do. You never know when your last day will be.
    Thank you so much for sharing this precious memory with us.
    Love and Hugs,

  4. Beautiful! Yours is the first email I read this morning and I’m wiping tears too. How wonderful you were able to put this together….precious memories for sure. The cards the children were made were over the top precious. May God cover each of you with His Amazing Grace as HE unfolds His perfect plan for Don’s life.

  5. This is a beautiful tribute. What a beautiful family Don has. You can see the love that he has for his children, they for him, and especially for the precious grandchildren. We never ever know what life will bring our way and we never ever know that we have tomorrow. We continue to lift him in our prayers and are so very thankful for yesterday good report. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

  6. PS….As Christians, we know that when we pray for healing that prayer for healing will be answered. Either here on earth or in Heaven. My brother was bed-ridden for 30 years unable to walk…..when he went to be with the Lord, all I could think of was him running and jumping and dancing in Heaven. Those withered limbs strong and able again. Gone from us for awhile, but healed for sure.

  7. Such an amazing post, Tonya and such words of wisdom you have spoken. I’m sorry that your family is facing this difficult time but you are exactly right….God is the ultimate healer. My brother is very ill in the hospital right now. He has had a liver condition his whole life. When doctors told my parents he would have a liver transplant by the age of five, my parents, family, and church prayed…hard. My brother is 22 and has never had a transplant. His life is a miracle. Yet, now even as we face that possibility and his health declines we know that God can heal him again, we pray for healing, but know that whatever the outcome is He has the best plans for my brother and trust Him fully even when it’s hard to do so. Praying for your family! ❤

    • Yes, exactly! There is always a bigger picture at work, and as a believer we can trust that God’s plans are not our own, but BETTER. Miss Jane is right, healing comes in both forms, sometimes on Earth, sometimes with a brand new body in Heaven! But we are never without hope, because we know come Eternity, we WILL be together again. Praise His name for your brothers life on Earth, transplant free, that is incredible in itself!!!!!

  8. Wonderful pictures! We never really know, do we? We definitely need to make sure the people we love and care about know how much we love them. Prayers with you and your family.

  9. Thank you for a great post. Lots of prayer and blessings your way. I am a cancer survivor and know how hard this road is. Harmony L

  10. Tonya, it’s been a while, but I hope you remember me from Jenna’s virtual baby shower. My heart just BREAKS for your family right now. I just lost my Grandpa in February, and my Uncle Leon last month, and I know from experience how hard it is to face what you guys are facing. I’m also thankful that you have God to help you through his difficult time and I pray the BEST for your father in law!! God can work wondrous miracles, and I hope he has one planned for Don. In any case, I pray he comforts him and all of you during the ups and downs to comes. ❤

  11. This bittersweet post brought tears to my eyes. Bitter obviously because of Papa Don’s illness, but sweet because of the love your family shares and because of the faith y’all have that the Lord will see you through this. My prayers are with y’all.

  12. My prayers are with you and your family. It is a year last week that my father passed away from a similar diagnosis given 8 months before. Certainly the most difficult and beautiful 8 months of our lives (although, the year following was harder than imagined due to family issues.) We tried, and I think, succeeded to do our best to make those last 8 months worthy of the time he had left. So many tears, talks, memories and LOVE flowed during that time. Embrace it and continue to pray and keep positive!

  13. Pingback: Praying for A Miracle & Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup | 4 little Fergusons

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