Some things just go together. Peas in a pod, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, George & Cindy. From the moment I started our session, I think they kind of just forgot I was even there & just enjoyed each other.
When you see REAL love like that, it forces you to reflect on your own life. And, I was reminded of the importance of quality time with your loved ones, and remembering to enjoy the moment. Cindy and George - thank you both for the friendly reminder to live (and enjoy living) in the present.
Now, I must warn you. If you look THIS happy and in love, I'm going to need an explanation. Because I'm impressed (and I LOOOOVE a good love story). After enjoying watching Cynthia and George enjoy each other, having such a nice time together, I had to get the story. So, I interrupted their martini date to get the details on how their story started:
George told me how much he liked Cynthia, but that she didn't know that he liked her, so it took him forever to ask her out.
When they finally went out (they met at a coffee shop) they talked for over 4 hours. She still regrets not giving him a hug goodbye.
...And when she said that, my heart just melted into pieces, because I'm pretty sure that's the best regret I have ever heard. I could've just hung out and enjoyed Cindy and George all afternoon, but Chance SO wouldn't approve of that! Chance is Cindy & George's 3-year-old rescue pup. He's SUCH a sweetie.
Cindy told me during their session that ever since George has gotten sick, Chance has been right by his side- day and night (he even switched whose side of the bed he sleeps on).
When she told me that, my heart swelled and wrenched all at once. George has stage 4 lung cancer. He's undergoing chemotherapy. He and Cynthia know that their time together is limited. They're enjoying every moment together. And, their sweet dog understands that George needs extra cuddles these days. When I was talking with Cynthia about documenting their love, I asked about how she and George enjoyed spending their time together. I got: dancing, martinis, dog, and, the details that George is both a war veteran and a shriner. She let me find out for myself that he's chivalrous, romantic, and truly kindhearted...and a trickster! I owe George 7! beers!
George was in the Air Force in Vietnam. His brick at the Memorial Park is below (2nd cloumn over, 3rd row up from the bottom).
I remembered The Shriners from when I was a little kiddo. I did NOT remember that the maroon item (below) is called a Fez, nor did I remember the consequences of calling it a H**. After 7! mis-speaks, George informed me of my mistake and (with a big ol' smile) let me know that the consequence for the mistake was to buy the wearer a beer. I'm really hoping I get the opportunity to make good on my 7! slips. :)George and Cynthia, THANK YOU for including me in your love story yesterday afternoon. You guys FILLED my heart. You helped me remember the important things in life. You show me amazing strength of character. I really value what I learned from you both yesterday. Thank you for allowing me to share your story.
Although Cynthia didn't approach me about this session because of the Faces of Cancer project I'm working on with Relay for Life, she's been an active member of RFL-Albany for awhile now. Through Relay for Life, I'm offering sessions to folks who are fighting (or have fought) a battle with cancer. I want to document your love story. And I want to share it. It takes great strength to battle cancer. It takes great strength to support someone fighting cancer. It takes SO much strength to accept. And it takes some bravery to share your story. I can't cure cancer. And, honestly, I don't even have the right kind of time to be on a Relay for Life team. So, this is how I choose to fight.