Life is too precious.

As a photographer, it is not often that you get to have the honor of capturing the special day of someone close to you. It is an even more rare honor to capture what would be known as the last photos.

About a month ago, I had the honor of attending and photographing the wedding celebration of Almaz and Segun. Almaz and I literally grew up together. She is only a year and a half older than me, so she is like a big sister. She had already been married for a couple of years, but she finally got to have her dream ceremony. It was such a great sight to see her so happy and surrounded by love.  It is a gift to be able to capture the beauty in someone I know.

I have a newfound definition of love. I have a newfound calmness about life. I worry too much about the smallest things. Almaz, on the other hand, was the definition of a free spirit. She was also a fighter, figuratively and literally, haha.

She loved to sing, loved to dance, and loved to laugh. She was a great woman, friend, sister, aunt, and wife. The kids loved her and she loved the kids.

I know she’s gone physically, I am not in denial about it, but I also know she is still here. I cannot grieve for too long because she lives on in spirit. She is such an angel. She was an angel on earth and now she is an angel in heaven, but she is our guardian angel now; I can feel it.

I am grateful I rarely missed the opportunity to tell her I love her.

I am grateful to have been there for her, seen her happy, sad, and mad. I have so many childhood memories that will forever be in my heart. I have seen all the faces of Almaz. Now, she is safe and she is at peace. I am grateful to have seen her at least 3 times this year.

I am grateful to have heard her voice as of recently. Our last conversation was a couple of days ago. She called me talking about wanting to travel to Lagos, Nigeria; she was so excited about the trip! Now, I want to go to Nigeria for her, for the love of Mazy. I am grateful to know she was able to celebrate another year of age right before God called her home.

She is my hero. If I just think, What would Almaz do? I know I will be just fine.

I love you Almaz. I hope you continue to dance. I’ll see you again soon.