I mean it, really! Just a little over a week ago, a miracle happened.

With some help from both science and whatever life giving force you believe in, my very close friend Leslie had her life saved for the second time via kidney transplant. And to make this miracle even bigger, the kidney she was given didn’t even come from a loved one. It came from a perfect stranger who agreed to trade one of their kidneys so that their girlfriend’s family member could receive a life saving kidney as well.

You see neither Leslie nor the girlfriend’s family member could find a match within their own circle and time was of the essence for them both. So Leslie’s mom agreed to make that very same sacrifice and give her own kidney as part of the swap. Intense right?!

Well on Thursday morning I woke up and being the memory keeper that I am, I wanted to make a sweet little tribute video for my dear friend. I wanted her to have something beautiful to watch before or even after her surgery. But when I opened my phone and typed in her name, (AI and face recognition give me the creeps but it CAN be handy) I found that the only pictures we have together are pictures from the events surrounding her recent marriage. Her bachelorette weekend, her bridal shower, the big day itself! And those are all lovely photos but we have been friends for seven years we’ve lived so much life together. How can that be all there is?

And then I thought to myself, what if the worst happens today? What if I lose my friend and the only photos I have of us cover such a short span of our time together. How am I a photographer and yet I don’t have these memories recorded in a tangible way?

Life can get busy! Sometimes the moment doesn’t feel like it calls for a photo. Sometimes you want the photo but you don’t want to bother anyone by asking for it. I have talked myself out of taking a photo for these reasons and more, but watching Leslie’s health decline, waiting for news of her surgery outcome with bated breath, and now helping care for her as she heals has taught me that when life gets hard you will wish you had the photos. They are all that we have to remind us and keep our memories preserved.

In the end, the only photos we will ever have are the ones we take or have taken. Hire the photographer, it’s worth the cost. Ask that server for a quick family photo, I promise most of them don’t mind. Be the silly one in the group always gathering everyone for a selfie. You just never know what might happen.

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