“Hello?” the sweet, searching voice on the phone asked. “Is this Lily and Daisy Photography?” The soft, slightly German-accented voice sounded both hopeful and sad.
“Yes,” I answered. “What can I do for you?”
The voice on the other end of the telephone asked if I had been the one with the camera at the Knights of Columbus Valentine’s dance the year before. Indeed, I was. I had accompanied my husband and his band, Desert Swing to capture some images for their website, when a woman who worked for the Knights of Columbus approached me and asked if I minded taking some pictures of the guests at the event for them. I had a great time meeting the attendees and chatting with the folks enjoying the music and the good food. I never imagined I might be capturing a last image for someone.
The woman on the phone introduced herself and told me I’d taken a picture of her and her partner together. The picture, it turns out, was the last one ever captured of him. He’d been sick, you see, with cancer. He’d been battling a long time, but on the night of the Valentine’s dance he had felt better than he had in the months before or in the days following. He died shortly afterward.
I didn’t know what to say. The lump in my throat grew as the conversation continued. I tried not to cry; I could only imagine the pain this sweet lady was feeling and wanted to do anything I could to make the sadness a little less for her.
She asked if she could buy copies of the images I had taken of her and her friend. “Of course not,” I blurted out, before thinking it through. She sounded crestfallen. I added quickly, “You tell me the pictures you want and in what size, and I’ll give them to you.”
“Oh, thank you!” she replied, then tried to talk me out of giving them to her, but I insisted. How could I possibly take money from this sweet lady when she’d already been through so much?
We live in a small town and I actually saw this sweet lady over the weekend. She was smiling again and seems happy now. Time, I think, has healed her wounds and it’s wonderful to see. You don’t always know the impact you’ll have on someone’s life, however small. You never know when you might be the spectator to the last dance.