Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Second Chance at Love

I was talking to someone on the phone today, and I said that the celebrations we cherish in life are some of the things that MAKE our life. The celebration I witnessed on Saturday made this statement more true than nearly any other one of which I've ever been a part. Imagine losing the love of your life, as well as the other parent to your children. That is, I'm sure, one of the most devestating things we endure as humans. However, then imagine finding someone who helps to fill the hole in your heart. The second chance that Ester and Paul have received is nothing less than remarkable. I believe in destiny, although I think sometimes destiny may need a little assistance. For them modern technology was part of it, but I'd also like to think that their late spouses may have had a divine hand in it all.

Regardless of how fate put the two of them together, it was definitely of miraculous proportions. Ester is from the Philippines, and Paul is from the US. They met (as so many of my clients have) through an online service. When I first met them they were telling me about all the similarities that made their connection even more significant. This incredible couple both share the same birthday (as did Ester's late husband). Their mothers also share the same first name. The day we initially met, Ester explained to me that her children were not going to be able to be at the wedding, because they were still in her native country. Whenever I photograph a couple who have been married before I always observe the children of the couple. Paul's son and daughter were the best man and maid of honor. I know that no one will ever replace their mother, but as an outsider looking in, it was incredible to see how much Ester loves her new children. When Paul and Ester are going to be able to finally reunite with all their children, it will be something uniquely special.

When I began photographing Ester, I think there was a switch that someone flipped on her! My first impression of her was a very demure and charming woman. The minute I raised the camera to my eye, she became a ball of fire! ;) She had me smiling all day long with how comfortable she felt in front of the camera. I feel certain she's done some modeling in the past because of some of the "poses" she created. To say she was a happy bride would be a complete understatement.

My heart melted everytime I saw Ester and Paul together. He is absolutely head over heels in love with his new bride. I think his favorite thing to do is to kiss her forehead, because everytime I'd get the two of them where they were close, he would lean in and gently kiss her. I remember when Paul told me how he was received when he visited Ester in the Philippines. From everything he told me, he was accepted into the family immediately.

I have photographed quite a few Filipino weddings and I always leave them with an extremely warm feeling. The sense of family at these weddings is palpable, and Ester and Paul's big day was no different. There were so many people there on Saturday who shared the heartache when they both lost their spouses, but who were also there to celebrate this joyous beginning.

Ester and Paul, I am at a loss for words to tell you how thankful I am to have gotten to know the two of you. You are an inspiration to everyone who hears your story and I am so honored to have been included in your special day. I know the two of you will grab every ounce of happiness that life offers you.
Enjoy their slideshow and Ester's favorite song!

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