"Don't Wait." | with Nizhoni Photography

We're showing something a little different today. Diagnosed with stage IV cancer, this mother and grandmother leaves some moving words for her daughter and grandchildren. Amanda Ingram of Nizhoni Photography captures these moments for this family to continue their grandmother's legacy.

“Don’t wait,” she told me, pausing to look up from the Bible she was reading. “If you feel a lump, don’t wait. Just go to the doctor. Even if you think it’s only a cyst.” She didn’t sound angry, or even sad, like I might have expected. Instead, she seemed very much at peace surrounded by her daughter and grandchildren. The weather was awful that day, with fat raindrops and rolling thunder outside the windows of the tiny apartment. But despite the storms, both literal and figurative, she was bright and cheerful. And she welcomed me into her home with a happy smile and open arms.

They had invited me there because her time was limited, her daughter told me. She had waited, and the cyst turned out to be cancer. By the time they diagnosed it, it was Stage IV and none of the treatments were helping. So they brought her home, to a little apartment just across the alley from her family, where she could look out of her patio doors and see them at their kitchen table on the evenings that they couldn’t be there with her. And now it was in her brain. It gave her headaches and made it hard for her to walk, made her tire so easily. She was worried that her grandchildren wouldn’t remember her when they were older and so she wanted to capture some images to remind them.

We had originally planned an outdoor session, but things changed quickly and she was no longer able to get out and around. So we spent the afternoon in her apartment while she blew up gloves for her grand daughter to play with and read them a short story she had written. Watching them laugh and love together was a truly moving experience that made me wonder when the last time I, myself, had gotten in the frame. And if something were to happen to me tomorrow, what would I leave my own daughter with to remember me by?

I'm a wife, mother, pharmacist, and artist. I love all things coffee, baked goods, and crafty. My passion is photographing motherhood in all its forms.