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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hello, Sweet Hellat | Maris Ehlers Photography

I am so grateful that people take the time to read my blog (when I post, that is).  I am even more grateful that so many of you take a moment out of your busy day to not only read what I post or to look at the images I share, but to post a comment, either here on the blog itself or over on my facebook page. I appreciate every single comment, more than you know. 

In order to be an "audience", you have to make some sort of commitment to the person you are being an audience for.  As a reader of my blog, you have made a commitment to me to be part of my "audience", and I, to you. 

When I post, I always want to capture something of the audience:  your time, your thoughts, your imagination, maybe even your heart. 

When I first wrote about Hellat this spring, I wanted all four.  

Hellat is from Iraq, and is just about the sweetest little girl you will ever meet. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and after much, much treatment, she had been hospitalized yet again and the doctors could do no more.  She was given the range of a few hours to days to live, and those who love her were in agony. 

At that time, in preparation of a painful goodbye, I finally posted the images that I had taken of her months earlier.  I wasn't sure what to say - after all, how do you announce that a beautiful young soul is  going to be taken so early in life?  I titled the post "Godspeed, Sweet Hellat", and so many of you reached out with words of support, encouragement and love for a family most of you had never heard of before. Some even asked that I keep you posted about Hellat. 

I failed to do so, but in all honesty, it was because I really didn't know what to say!  The doctors who gave her those few short hours to live, did so based on the best medical information they had at the time.  Twice. Hellat was hospitalized for over five weeks, and multiple times the belief was that she wouldn't make it through the night.  Her mother, Sona, never left her side, even though she had four other children at home to care for.  Her dedication and stamina would rival that of any of us had it been our child, and the family's inability to give up amazed us all. 

So, I saved my update.  Why? Because I wanted to share with you what I was able to share in a couple of weekends ago, and that was the joy of seeing Hellat again this summer, at her home with her friends and family near by, and having her in front of my camera again, on a much, much happier note! 

Hellat, who could not move much at all when I saw her last, who had to be carried everywhere, proudly stood for her first portraits with me, and it was simply amazing.  

She has captured my imagination, my time, my thoughts, and yes, even my heart.  And perhaps even a miracle or two.  

Hellat with her teacher and my sister-in-law, Stephanie.

So, Godspeed, indeed.  Godspeed on your journey here on Earth, full of miracles, surprises and love.


Sara Biren said...

Oh, that photo of Hellat and her mom. That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. <3 Thanks once again for sharing this story.

Barb Darling said...

Sweet Hallat, you are beautiful! Thank you Maris for sharing this update, we have been thinking about this family since your first post. How wonderful to capture their lovely smiles again. Precious.

Anonymous said...

Thank the powers of love, prayers, and faith that have carried her and her family through. Thanks for giving the rest of us such a happy window to peek into, Maris.

Delkhaz said...

Thank you for the lovely pictures. Hellat and her family look beautiful as always. Love you dearly Hellat. You are my hero and give us all hope and joy. With my love...your aunt DELKHAZ (Del) :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Maris. Those photos were beautiful. It means so much to us that you take the time to do this. Hellat is one person no one will ever forget. She is our little angel and has been through so much but through it all has a smile on her face. I ask her Hellat how you doing she puts a smile on her face and says I am tuff as a tuffy. She means so much to us and we thanks you again for these beautiful pictures.
Jihan (Hellats aunt)