11/52: Hands

Jessica, photographed here, and her fiancé, Joel, canoodled around Tilden Regional Park with me yesterday for their engagement session. Shamefully, especially because I live in Berkeley, I hadn’t ventured up there until our session and now, well, I basically plan to take the girls there for every single outing or playdate we go on. Every. Single. One. Such a lovely place.

The beautiful hummingbird necklace that Jessica wore was a symbol of her beloved grandmother, whom had always loved hummingbirds and, therefore, strategically arranged hummingbird feeders around her home. In January of 2006, Jessica’s Meemaw, her mother’s mother, was diagnosed with lung cancer and, in June of that same year, actually the day before Jessica’s high school graduation, she passed away. While in hospice, her Meemaw’s one request was that her bed be beside a window, and that that window overlooking one of her precious hummingbird feeders. Jessica explains that “from then on hummingbirds have held a very close place in my heart” and her family has preserved her Meemaw’s tradition, placing multiple hummingbird feeders in their backyard.

I know that every time I now see a fluttering hummingbird I will reflect on the strong woman that helped to create the caring, generous, beautiful, loving woman that I have the privilege of calling a friend. Love you Jess!