Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the things going on in my own life, and I'm not gonna lie, this past year may have been the hardest one yet... and, as strong as I like to think I am, I know better. I recently spent the day with My Mom and her friend Annie, Annie is living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) I don't know if you know anything about the disease but it's a hateful disease, incurable and fatal. Als affects motor cell neurons, the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement. The muscles become weak and paralyzed. The first time I visited Annie, she didn't get out of her bed, her speech was slurred due to the deterioration of muscles, but she still chatted away, told stories and cracked jokes, despite it being much, much harder for her to do. She shared pictures of her recent hot air balloon ride, and was just delightful to be around. We made plans for a photoshoot and she warned me that she wouldn't be up for much, since she has lost all muscle control in her legs, and it's really hard for her to hold her neck up for very long, but when the day came for her photoshoot, she impressed me even more, not only did she let me wheel her around her yard (which I thought was a must, and I'm so happy she was up for going outside) she chatted away with her friends and neighbors who stopped by to see her and bring her flowers while we were shooting. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to smile, due to the loss of muscle in her face, so as she was chatting I continued snapping pictures, noticing the sparkle in her eyes when she told a funny story,  my heart was just filling with admiration and joy... and even if she wasn't trying to smile, or thought she couldn't,  her smile was there.. I admire her determination, and strength, and I can only hope that I will be able to tackle my own battles with as much strength and grace.  
Big Love to you Annie... BIG love.  


geekster December 26, 2012 at 8:13 PM  

These are beautiful!!!

Valerie December 26, 2012 at 9:36 PM  

Andi, these are just lovely. You captured her so beautifully. What a wonderful gift you gave her by doing this photo shoot, and what a wonderful gift for you to be around such a beautiful soul inside and out. Love you!

Arlene McElroy December 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM  

I had the privilege a few weeks ago of meeting Annie, sister of my good friend. She is a beautiful woman, and your photo shoot moved me to tears. What a precious gift to her and her family.

Unknown December 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM  

What a beautiful example of photo journalism. Annie is a special lady to my daughter and I and although I haven't seen her in the past few years, you have captured her beauty and spirit of the wonderful woman I always remember. Truly heartfelt.

Liz Long Arseneau December 28, 2012 at 8:27 PM  

This incredible photographer captured the sweet spirit of Annie with grace and artistry. There is a quality of my friend that neither time nor disease can erase, and I still see it in her serene smile and the glint in her eyes.

Barbara Antrim January 2, 2013 at 10:10 PM  

I have known Annie for more than 25 years. Ahe has always been an inspiration to me, and to see how she has handled this terrible disease, the grace and love she extends to family and friends. I love her very much and appreciate the beautiful gift of this photo series you have given Annie and her family. Thank you and God bless.

Lori January 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM  

Thank you Annie and Andrea for such an inspirational gift that without the need for words expresess pure love and courage. These photos captured the essence of Annie's spirit and soul. She makes us all better people.

Anonymous January 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hettie January 4, 2013 at 6:06 PM  

Thank you for these beautiful pictures of my sister.
You really captured that inner spark that still shines
in Annie. I also love the beautiful shots of her home.
Thank you!

Cindy Larkin January 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM  

Andi, these are beautiful!



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