“My grandma was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer last year before Christmas. It was in her left breast and her bones in her back. The cancer was eating her bones which had caused her to have extreme pain and break bones in her back easily. She had chemo and radiation, months of not being able to sleep in her own bed because of the risks and pain.
She had to wear, what we called, her turtle shell to help with keeping her spine straight and her back in place for healing. The cancer has been controlled for a few months.
I just got a call this morning that she had been having lots of odd pain in her arm and was sent in to see a doctor immediately and did some tests to find out she has three more spots that have started in her arm and radiation is to start ASAP.
After having a conversation over the phone with her, she just cried to me about how much she wants to be able to dance at my wedding. I reassured her I know this is simply a bump in the road and I know she will do just that.
I’d like to capture through pictures the love I have for her and the love she gives me. Life is too special and short when you have special people in your life, to take them for granted.
Luckily, I won a photoshoot contest with Copper + Pine who captured a “first look” so my grandma could see me in my dress. We also had a wedding dance and exchanged letters. We danced together to ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’ by Martina McBride.
Mikayla, the photographer behind this gorgeous shoot, noted, “I spoke to Brittany and told her that we’d plan it almost like a first look at a wedding, except with her grandma instead of a groom! We waited for it to become warmer out, and then met at a field close to Brittany’s home.
We began their session just taking portraits, chatting, and I really tried to step back and just let them enjoy the time with each other. They brought out the letters they had each written the other, opened them, and shared those together.
After they were finished, they each changed into their wedding outfits. Ellen stood out in the field and I told her to close her eyes and wait until Brittany was close enough to tap her shoulder. Her grandma’s reaction when she finally saw, was the sweetest thing, she just held her hands to her face. It was genuinely the most loving moment I’ve ever captured.
The bond that those two share is absolutely incredible. I actually do not know what the letters said and didn’t ask, although Brittany did keep laughing about the memories her grandma had written about in her letter as she was reading them. They cried and laughed.
The dance that they shared together was probably the thing that stuck out the most. Brittany picked out the song and left it a surprise for her grandma. It was the only time during the session where Brittany and grandma really, really cried together.”