September 30, 2011
I wanted to take some time and remember a sweet little boy who made a big difference in the lives of so many.
Sam Sparks passed away one month ago today from complications of seizures and respiratory illness. Sam had cerebral palsy along with many other conditions. At just a few months shy of five years old Sam gave up his fight and returned home be with his twin sister Sydney, who passed away after just six weeks of life.
Sam's life, although not typical of a young child, was a full one! His amazing parents never let Sam's condition hold him back from anything! He was able to experience all the great things that little kids should experience - and then some!
I have been fortunate enough to photograph Sam since just hours after he was born premature - and even before that when his mommy was expecting he and his sister! I suppose I didn't realize it at the time, but he was making a big difference in my life all along. As I photographed Sam's funeral service a few weeks ago I was reminded of the time I've spent with Sam through a beautiful video tribute of his life. There on the screen were photo after photo that I had taken of Sam for his parents to have and cherish forever. I sat alone in the balcony of the church sobbing and feeling an overwhelming thankfulness for the gift I have been able to give this family .... and the gift they gave me in return. Being a part of Sam's life has changed me forever and I cannot thank him enough for that gift.
So today I remember Sam's life .........and I hug my babies just a little tighter.
If you are interested (and have a box of tissues on hand) in watching the video tribute of Sam's life, here is the link:
Also, if you would like to learn more about cerebral palsy or Sam's journey, you can visit his website. Sam's parents have started an organization called "Sparks of Hope" that will continue to bless the lives of those touched by cerebral palsy.