Life can be a roller coaster. The ride sometimes will have you holding on for dear life; other times raising up your arms hollering with laughter. Shari knows very well how to hold on tight and how to let go and laugh heartily. She knows the preciousness of keeping what she holds most dear very close to her heart. What Shari holds most dear is her son Scott.
It was pretty clear during our portrait session that he is her everything. Having beautiful portraits of her and Scott together took on new significance in the last few years when their life went through some major changes. In 2009 Sheri’s life was turned upside down by a breast cancer diagnosis simultaneously with the ending of her 15-year marriage.
As little girls most of us spent a fair amount of time daydreaming about what our futures would look like. We played with Barbie dream houses and imagined our life would be quaintly packaged in something we hoped close to the role-plays we created with Ken and Barbie.
This was Shari's favorite from her gallery---look you can see Scott's dimple! ;)
None of us imagined being single moms undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Yet, life is full of things we never imagined that cause us to rise up to the challenges before us. Strength is refined through the fires that come full speed into our lives.
Shari didn’t have time to give in to the tiredness and feeling horrible after treatments. Scott needed a parent and she had sole custody, so that meant she was on deck. Scott will never truly realize how he provided the inspiration for her recovery.
While some might have rightfully considered single parenting during cancer treatment a load to heavy to bear, not Shari. She is thankful that she had Scott to take her focus off of the mess cancer creates of your life. She says Scott is her sunshine, making her happy when skies are grey.
Getting Scott to smile was easy---all Shari had to do was mention who they saw in the grocery store that day! The girl who Scott happens to be in love with currently!
When Shari decided to have family portraits done, her sister in law Gina told her, ‘you’d be foolish to go to anyone else besides Jennifer.’ (wow that’s some pretty cool street cred!)
God is in the business of not wasting anything. Shari’s battle with breast cancer is now something that sweet Gina clings to as she faces her own battle with colon cancer. C A P T U R E D blog followers may remember the Barnes family portrait session last fall, just before Gina’s diagnosis. Then this summer Jake’s two-year-old portrait session as Jake is Gina’s angel whisperer in her battle with cancer!
Shari is one of Gina’s biggest cheerleaders as she walks this road. Family takes priority in the Barnes homes and it’s a beautiful thing to see them shore each other up. Shari is just the kind of cheerleader you want in your corner---she’s strong and hilarious---a perfect combo!
Scott takes piano lessons at Coffey music so that's where we decided to end our session together. This is something Scott and Shari share together and has created many fond memories for them already!
Kelly Corrigan's take on mothering, from her book Lift:
"I am your mother, the first mile of your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means that in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give to you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of tribe, a run at happiness. You can't imagine how seriously I take that…."