It’s spring along our gorgeous Emerald Coast, which means there is no shortage of families frolicking on the beach at sunset. The beach portrait session families are easy to spot, as they’re the ones fully clothed with a photographer hovering nearby. Not all of the laughing families are on a carefree vacation, however. A few have arrived on the brink of utter exhaustion, grateful for the brief reprieve from a reality that has consumed every last ounce of energy and then some.
All families matter to us, but some hit our hearts harder than others. Sessions like this one with the Patrick family are the ones that leave a lump in our throat.
None of us ever really expect to sit in a doctor’s office and get The Diagnosis. That happens to “other people.” But that’s exactly where Pastor Josh Patrick found himself in January 2015, and the rollercoaster of colon cancer hasn’t stopped yet. No stranger to hospital visits, Josh found himself on the receiving end of that compassion as he recovered from surgery and weathered months of chemo treatments. A break in the fall of 2015 was a God-given opportunity to get away for a bit and they jumped on it. Waves of Grace, a wonderful organization that helps care for families dealing with various stages of cancer, sent them to our beautiful beach community for a week.
When we met Josh & Joni that late October afternoon, we were struck by their normalcy. We would have never guessed that, upon their return to Nashville, Josh would be starting a new round of treatment. From the healthy glow of his skin, it was clear that the healing properties of the sand and salt air were working their magic. He and Joni were thoroughly enjoying their trip and making the most of this refreshing time with their precious girls Lillie, Joy, and Sarah.
We checked in with them recently, and learned that Josh will be heading to MD Anderson this Friday for a consult with a renowned surgeon specializing in Josh’s type of cancer. You can follow his progress here. If you know of a family you’d like to nominate to be a Waves of Grace recipient, you can do so here.
We are so grateful for the privilege of telling stories through pictures. How long has it been since you’ve had family photos? Take this opportunity to make some memories, and let us capture them for you. Call us or email us, and let’s get it scheduled. Don’t wait.