Mary is one of my very first friends. She lived on the same street as my grandparents, who I would visit twice per year for a week, at Christmas and in the summer. This started when I was 5, and my grandmother wanted to find friends for me. So she reached to the house on the street behind her for Julie, and Julie's good friend was Mary. We met around 5 or 6. We played Atari, and Monopoly, and ate potato chips and sour cream and onion dip (stained that Monopoly board), and drank Coke. They lived in a "small town," and I was coming from close to the city - they knew everyone, and their world was magical to me. They folded me right in as if I was always there, and I got to experience their lives. I believe that is the foundation that made me want to live and raise my children in a "small town."
We got older and Mary's family moved away to Kentucky when we were about 11. Julie and I continued this way through high school, and she and Mary stayed in touch as well. Julie wound up going to school with one of my good high school friends, so we even saw each other in our early college years. Then life progressed. We didn't have cell phones or Facebook...until about 2008. And then I got to reconnect with both Mary and Julie.
I saw Mary again for the first time in about 37 years this past week, and I had the pleasure of photographing her family! She was here visiting with her family - her husband, Darren, and their three children, Lilly, Josh, and Ben. She was staying in Corolla with her two sisters, Michelle and her husband, who have Jack and Erin, and Lisa and her husband, who have Kate and Olivia. They are such a beautiful family and it was a joy to reconnect with Mary and see her family!
Now as if that weren't enough, Mary perused my portfolio after her session. She now lives in Philadelphia, and she recognized a couple from one of the weddings I photographed about two years ago in May 2018, Madison and Aidan. As it turns out, Aidan's sister, Ava, is Mary's son's, Ben's, girlfriend. What a small world coincidence!
I love photography so much for all of these connections!