In the years I've been away from shooting (as a profession) I've missed the portfolio aspect terribly. Not in a way of showing off, in a way of having my art out there. Especially the art that is so personal to me: my kids, film, and the projects that have left my heart broken and torn in half.
I'll Fly Away is one of those.
The #jillfightsback project began April 2013 when my mom was diagnosed with stage 1 Cervical Cancer. She asked me to document it for her, and I did. From the week she was diagnosed (as seen above) until her sudden death just six months later. Each soul-crushing moment in between is there, in still and video.
When she asked me to take on this project I had no hesitation, it's what I did: documenting, storytelling. I had no idea how hard it would be as time went on, especially those last weeks. In a way though it is as if she knew I would need that, to be able to hide behind my camera (phone). She was my best friend, and watching her die was the absolute worst thing I've experienced in this life.
So, it's with so much heart that I include I'll Fly Away here, in my personal work. It's my tribute to her hard fought battle, to her beauty and grace as she passed on from here to there. It's my "I'll love you forever", it's the hug I couldn't give in the end, it's my goodbye.
It twists my stomach each and every time I look through it. But I'm so proud, so honored that she asked it of me.
Missing you mama, always and forever.