When I was a year old, my mom signed me up for a mommy and me class, where she met one of her best friends and I met one of mine. Our families were incredibly close throughout my childhood, and we shared celebrating birthdays and holidays, but also funerals and life's challenges. The block of images below are pulled for our parents' photo albums from the 80s. (I probably don't need to specify the decade based on our clothes!)
This weekend, I travelled to Asheville to photograph my childhood best friend's newborn baby boy, William Gabriel. He's named for his grandpa, who was also there (along with grandma and an uncle!) but William is also named for an uncle he will never know, William Paul, who passed away when we were kids. He's the baby/toddler in the photos above.
The day I photographed William Gabriel would have been William Paul's 31st birthday.
I saw William Gabriel's mom this summer in Savannah, for the first time in nearly 20 years. It was fantastic. And then, she moved to Asheville and of course I had to drive down to photograph her sweet new one. And of course I had to time it to see her family.
I still have so many images from this session? weekend? left to edit, but I couldn't help but jump on and share these. My heart is full.
My daughter met the son of one of my oldest friends, and the family that is part of almost all of my first memories.
We love you, baby William. And we miss you, William Paul.
And my sweet Caroline? We ate chocolate cake in William Paul's memory, and that was the highlight of her weekend.