This Cassi is a special lady. She is one of those friends that, no matter how much time we’ve spent apart, when we get together again, the laughs, the smiles, the easy canter, it all returns. Though we don’t talk often, when we do, there is genuine concern, friendship, and joy to be found. I think about Cassi often, as her presence played a large part in my high school experience. Cassi was one of those girls that everyone loved to be around, and she was humble about it. In fact, I’m not sure she even realized that everyone wanted Cassi to like them. In high school, Cassi was my favorite dancer. My sophomore year I decided I wanted to try out for the cheerleading team, even though I had never had ANY dance, tumbling, or cheer experience in my whole life. My jumps were weak….laughable, even, and I knew I wouldn’t succeed in improving them without Cassi’s help. For weeks leading up to try outs, she met me in the early morning to help me with my toe-touches. I was embarrassed to demonstrate my lack of skills to her, but she was patient, encouraging, and helpful. I’m not sure if my toe-touches improved much, but not for any lack of training from Cassi. Ultimately, her belief in me propelled my confidence and I can honestly say that THAT is what got me on the cheer team. The fact that I had someone cheering for ME made me excited to dance, even if it was not technically perfect.
Now….when I think of Cassi, I also think of Ty. Cassi and Ty. Ty and Cassi. That’s just how it was in high school. They should have had their own celebrity name mash-up, but their names are kind of hard to do that with (go ahead and try. I’ll wait).
Cassi and Ty had their share of teenage relationship woes, but the amazing part is, unlike most high school romances, they pulled through them. They made beauty from ashes. They turned fleeting into forever. They grew up together, from teenagers to parents. They walked into their marriage knowing some of the difficulties they would share, and they said yes anyway. They fight their battles just like the rest of us: the same battles they fought as teenagers, and new ones that only years of being together can bring on. But fight they do, and I don’t know about you, but to me it looks like they are doing a great job of it. You can’t fake this kind of joy.
When I delivered these images to Cassi she said, “I didn’t just SEE my family, I could FEEL them. This is us. Thank you.”
That is what I wish for all my family sessions. That is the gift I hope to give. I want to show you who you are, because sometimes we all lose sight of that, and we lose sight of the beauty of it. Here they are – isn’t life wonderful?