Chris Brogan, one of my favorite marketing authorities – and really, one of those amazing people who breeze through your life briefly and change it for the better – often opens his speeches with a Zulu expression, “Sawubona.” By his account, the phrase translates to: “I see you.” It means, “I know that you’re there and I acknowledge you as another person.” The response back is, “Ngikhona,” which is literally, “I am here.”
For my sweet sister-in-law, she and one of her lifelong best friends have “seen” each other through more adversity – and more joy- than many people their combined ages could imagine. Whether because of what they each have endured or in spite of it, something magical always happens when they are together. As life would have it, because their distance (she in Washington, Shan here in Oregon), they hadn’t been able to see each other for more than two years. So as a wonderful surprise prior to my sis-in-law’s 40th birthday celebration recently, my brother arranged to have this dear woman show up on Shan’s doorstep. Needless to say, from the moment they laid eyes on each other, time slipped away and we watched the magic kick in.
I had the SINCERE honor and pleasure of being able to photograph them while they reminisced and laughed. And laughed. And laughed more. By the end of the shoot I had tears streaming down my face – good ones – and my stomach was hurting from the endless giggles. It was a priceless day, and one I’m so grateful they allowed me to share.
In between the laugh fest, I also was able to snag a few shots of Shan’s friend and her family. Her daughter was beyond precious. While she was shy at first, this self-proclaimed budding actress slowly came out of her shell, and what I finally saw was a little girl whose sense of humor was JUST like her mom’s. She was a delight to shoot and oh-so-entertaining. I think this photo captured her personality to a “T’.
Watching these two women together was a reminder that I need to work more to SEE my friends the same way I see my family. I’m so blessed to have many people who bring beauty to my life, and I want to give them the same sense of significance, and of being needed, as these two wonderful ladies do for each other.
Finally, a happy 40th birthday to my wonderful “seester.” Your strength, courage, spirit, and friendship inspire and fill me more to me than you can know. I’m so glad to have you in my life, and love you so very much!