I am crying as I sit at my computer trying to think of a way to start this blog. Something that will do her justice. Something that will help explain what an amazing person she was and how she touched so many lives. But, I can't think of anything so I will just write from my heart.
I met Cindy
nearly two years ago when I was photographing the baptism of the youngest son of the Kim family. She and her boyfriend, at the time, were the God parents of little Ryan. She had such a warm and inviting smile and kept asking if there was anything she could do for me. As I was taking pictures later at the Kim's home, I overheard her talking about her wedding and asked when she was getting married and she said she wasn't engaged yet, but would be soon! Sure enough a couple of months later she was engaged and called me asking if I would shoot her wedding.
3 months before her wedding Cindy was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her prognosis wasn't good, but she kept smiling the whole time. At first they weren't sure if they were going to go on with the wedding, but they did and on May 5 Cindy and Jared were married. It was such a gorgeous and perfect day. All of their friends and family were there to celebrate with them. When Cindy and Jared said their vows it was so much more than just words to them and you could tell.
Cindy fought hard. She went to New York for experimental treatments. She underwent various types of chemo that had horrible side effects. She had to give up teaching, which she loved. And all the while, her emails to me were always optimistic making sure to ask how I was doing and that everything was okay with me.
She was the type of person who would drop everything to help a friend. When I told her how much I loved her dress she wore at her engagement session I received a package in the mail a couple of weeks later with the same dress. When she found out I was pregnant she sent me a beautiful card and gift. She always thought of others first.
I told Cindy several times that she was my hero and she really is. For someone who I knew for such a short time, she had an incredible impact on me. I don't think I would be able to conduct myself with as much grace and composure as Cindy did over the past year. She will always be a role model to me. If I am faced with a challenge as difficult as hers I would hope that I could face it with as much courage and strength as Cindy.
Last night Cindy lost her battle with colon cancer that she fought so bravely for the past year. Life isn't fair for taking someone so beautiful, both inside and out. Someone so generous and compassionate. Someone who gave so selflessly. Someone who was so young and had a lot more life to live.
In one of the last emails I received from Cindy she called me an angel for helping finish her wedding album when she was too sick to do it herself. No Cindy, you are my angel. I know you will watch down on us all and take care of us. There are so many people who wake up this morning with a void in their heart because you are no longer here with us, but we can take comfort in the fact that your legacy will live on through the countless people whose lives you have touched.
This is how I will always remember Cindy. With a big smile on her face.
To Jared and all of Cindy's family and friends, I am so sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts.