The most amazing gift

On April 1, 2009 by Aimee

I have been absolutely honored, over the course of 2.5 years, to serve as a photographer for families when they lose a baby. The organization (as if you haven’t already heard me discuss it) is called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (

I have photographed over 65 infants and their families in those 2.5 years — all of whom I remember; all of whom are now a part of my life.

There are many occasions (and I know I am very fortunate in this regard) where I receive a thank you note from a family. A card, a simple hand-written note in the mail. Sometimes the notes come via email and may or may not include photos of siblings and stories about the family as they move along in their journey of healing.

Many of the families I have worked with are right here in the Triangle … many are not.

I have absolutely NO expectations when it comes to my interactions with families. All I know (and yes, I do KNOW this), is that what I do is a method of healing and whether or not I get a card, a note or anything from a family, it was worth every moment of my effort to photograph their babies.

So then, today’s 18″x18″ box, that I found on my desk after returning from my trip to UNC and Duke (in one day) for NILMDTS (today), addressed to me was a big shock. Most deliveries do not come directly to the studio.

Of course, curiosity got to me and before I’d even set down my camera bag, scissors were in hand and I was carefully opening my package to reveal this completely amazing birdhouse. Ok, so I started to tear up right them. I actually recognized the “from” address on the box and happen to know that this Mom is an artist. So I was very very eager to see the contents of the box.

Oh my goodness. Even just writing about this has me all choked up. And, of course, it wasn’t just a birdhouse, it was an inscription and a hand-written note to go along with it.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar”. Psalm 139:1-2

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Gifts are NOT why I do this work, but I have to say, I am the luckiest photographer in the world to receive the honor of a hand painted birdhouse by a local artist, whom I’d met one time, at one of their worst possible moments. That crossing of paths brings me to a shared gift — from me photos; from her a thank you.

This little birdhouse will remain in the studio … it now has a very special place of honor — right where I can see it every day and be reminded of how important our work with NILMDTS is.

To the Monroe Family — if you ever read this post, please know, as much as you thank me, I thank you.

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