POMP - Photographs of Meaning Project
"My story as a caregiver may be different from most. Macayla is my step-daughter. I have been with her dad since before she was born. I was 19 when I took on this great responsibility. For the past 17 years I have been her primary caregiver and at the same time the "step-mom". It has definitely been a long hard journey but I would not change it. I have learned so much about myself and my ability to be completely selfless for another person, even when she doesn't always want me. I am stronger than I ever imagined I could be."
"This is what a majority of my pictures look like now. This is my new best friend. I no longer have friends, I don't go out for fun nights. I'm not carefree and blissfully unaware. But I'm compassionate and I love unconditionally. I collect these pictures like treasures. Being his caregiver isn't always fun, it's tiresome, sometimes scary but I wouldn't trade this picture for any amount of my "prior" pictures. This one is worth so much more."
"Walking down memory lane. This is me , my mom and baby girl Sara. Finally brought my baby home from hospital after 14 days in 2010. (Love this picture of the 3 of us) So glad my mom was there for me and my girl. I thought about how scared I was and thinking I hope to God I can be the best mom for my child & protect her the way my mom was with me. I really hope my girl knows how much she is loved. I love her so much and I want to be the best mom and to be strong for her like my mom was with me and still is... My mom is a wonderful Gramma and I am so grateful for her support and her love. I want to be that loving person for my girl."
"I have a 14 year old boy that was not supposed to live past the age of 4. Our accomplishment is that he is still with us. But it is not just because of us, we have a great medical team and pray for him all the time. I could never take all the credit for him still being here with us. However, we are incredibly happy that he still is. I know parents that have lost a child to a medical condition that they have lived with all their lives and I know parents that have lost a child due to other circumstances. So, what have I learned? We never know when our time is up on this earth. We need to take one day at a time. Sometimes thinking about the future takes up a lot of unnecessary energy and the focus needs to be on the moment. My role can be described as a caregiver and I have even been told that my son is a burden. I see my role as a mom, plain and simple. I am responsible for my child regardless of his condition. He is mine and I will be his mom until the end of time."
"These girls are the reason I get up and fight daily! Each day is a new adventure, which you never know what will be thrown at you. I need to remember to take "mom" time and that other people including their dad can also help with the girls and they will be okay! I hope every day that a cure will be found and I'll wake up and their tumors will be gone as well as Kk's vision is back."