* (The corresponding link is referenced at the end of this post.)
My brother-in-law, Joe and his family paid us a visit this past summer and we had a great time getting reacquainted making up for the years in between. As it happens in life, children who were once so little are transformed into growing youth, processing into their own identity and carving character through circumstances that present opportunity and challenge. My nephew Will and his family were faced with more than the average challenge that we meet up with in life. Will has cerebral palsy caused at birth that left him with a loss of fine motor control affecting his body and speech. What he lacks in motor skills, he excels in determination. He comes by his name naturally... WILL! Short for William but long on the definition of the word will - meaning to have a drive, an aim, a purpose, a resolution, an intent, a volition. This description is part of Will's internal spirit that is made up of the stuff that makes champions.
Paladin is another word that comes to mind. No, this is not about the old western TV series called by that name. Rather, this word signifies deep meanings and speaks of noble courage, being a defender, guardian, protector, shielder. All of these qualities are active in the care and encouragement of a loving mother, father, sister and brother. Will's family champions a champion, pulling together as a supportive team to enrich his quality of life. They cheer-lead, applaud, value and embrace him, making a difference in his experience of daily living. An intelligent boy, Will's interests are many, ranging from Starwars to Paleontology (study of fossilized prehistoric plants and animals). He displays keen wit and loves a good joke in the enjoyment of humor.
Joe captured some moments on camera of Will with our border collie dog, Bud. The two became best pals instantly with Bud constantly pestering Will for attention and affection. I had a hard time deciding what photo to use of the three that Joe took of these moments. All three show such heart, I had to post them all for you to see. (Click on photos for enlargement)
Joe did a documentary story in pictures of his son, simply entitled "Will". In his own words, he begins with a description of Will but it is through his photographs, you come to know the heart, mind and soul of a champion family. The picture featured below is taken from the documentary. I hope that you look deeply into the essence of these very moving photos captured by a Dad who uses his talent in photography to tell a story about family love for their son. Link: http://coachingforphotographers.com/coaching-for-photographers-cerebral-palsy-documentary-photography-by-joe-loudermilk/
I found this simple quote by Jack Dempsey that really exemplifies what a champion is -
"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't"
* Referenced link post: http://www.turn-uppatch.blogspot.com/2013/07/and-so-god-made-photographer-part-ii.html
Come, visit me next time at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, January 19th, when we shall continue to explore Joe's artistry in monochrome photography....