Nana and her Great-Great Granddaughters

A few weeks back I had a photo assignment unlike any I had done before.  I had a request to photograph a Great-Great Grandma with infant twin girls. That’s not a typo – she’s a Great Great Grandma.  My helper Cathy and I ventured to the nursing home to meet the 104 year old Leorah Johnston (yes 104!!!!!), affectionately known as Nana by family, friends and nursing home staff.  I was not sure what 104 years old would look like, but Nana would have made Willard Scott proud.  Dressed in a soft shade of her favorite color pink, with her signature pearls and multiple bracelets, Nana gave us the sweetest welcome smile.  She had the brightest blue eyes and was truly beautiful for any age. I couldn’t help but just imagine all that those eyes had seen in 104 years.  When her family handed her the twin girls to hold for the photo, she slowly held up the foot of one baby to look at her toes (which one toe nail was painted to help distinguish the identical twins) and snuggled close to the other. It was beyond precious to see the matriarch still playing the role of the nurturer.  Her relationship with her son, Larry, and daughter in law, Pam was equally as dear.  The mututal love and affection was very visible.  Pam told me they would exchange lines and phrases from the children’s book by Sam McBratney “Guess How Much I Love You.” It was a humbling opportunity to be trusted with such important photographs.  Occassionally in my career I am reminded of how valuable photography can be.  This was one of those moments.  Unfotunately Nana passed away just a week after our session.  We were so blessed to have met her and witness her love and joy for her family through five generations.

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