In 1998 I met a family with a new baby boy named Dylan. Over the years I would take his portraits and as with all of my 'babies' I got to watch him grow. At a very young age Dylan was diagnosed with cancer. I don't know the exact type, I just know cancer is cancer. I remember the Christmas, when I got the phone call from Dylan's mom explaining how badly they wanted Christmas portraits, but Dylan was in the middle of chemo treatments. I told her that I would meet her early at the studio, I would spray it down with Lysol before I left the night before and would spray it down again before they brought him into the studio and I would do anything I needed to do to get those portraits for them. From that day forward I had a true friend in Dylan's family.
Dylan's cancer went into remission, but then as if too often does, it came back. I was honored to be asked to come and take family portraits of Dylan and his family in Jauary of 2004 (I was a DM with my company and had relocated to the Salisbury area). That session will forever be etched in my mind. For all the pain that Dylan was in, he was still in the best mood. Nothing kept him down for long.
On March 31st 2004 Dylan turned 6. On April 1st 2004, Dylan's courageous battle ended.
Every year since, my son and I celebrate Dylan's birthday. We will take a card, or a stuffed Scooby Doo, or just take a balloon to Dylan. For us it is just our way of keeping Dylan's spirit alive.
This year, I goofed up. I won't say that I forgot, but I will admit that I got so caught up with my son and his band competition, that it did slip my mind.
Happy Birthday Dylan! We will be by to see you this week.