love, hope & a little kindness

this was my fifth time photographing the mcnulty family, in san diego (and i adore them).

but this time, things were a bit different. danielle asked if i was willing to also photograph her mother-in-law, her sons and her grandsons. all boys in the mcnulty family thus far.

of course!

she requested pacific beach pier as they are a big surfing family. so the session went on, as most family session do  -- photographing the extended family, the individual families, the kids, etc. we were almost done with the session, when i went to grandma mary to ask her if i could get a picture of her by herself. i thought she was just picking something up, but learned that as she went to reach for one of her grandkids, her wedding band flew off and she was trying to find it -- somewhere in the sand.

OH. MY. GOSH. how in the world are we going to find a wedding band in all this sand...on the beach??

soon, we were all looking for grandma mary's wedding band -- mary. myself. danielle. the sons. the grandsons.

then, as if sent from Heaven, i see a guy walking down the beach, with one of those metal-finding-contraptions. i ran to him and begged him to help us, although it really didn't take much begging. and so he joined us in the search.

as we were sifting through the sand, i learned that this ring was even more special than i could have imagined.

mary and patrick were married in 1960 and had five boys. when mary was 33 and patrick was 45 (in 1972), he died suddenly of a massive heart attack -- leaving behind mary and the five boys, ranging in age, from 3 to 12 at the time. mary never remarried and raised the boys on her own. inscribed in mary's wedding, by patrick, is "The sun and the moon", from shakespeare.

OH. MY. GOSH. we HAVE to find this wedding ring. we HAVE to find this ring!!!!!

from the moment the boys started looking for their mom's ring, all i heard was...

don't worry mom, we'll find it. we'll find your ring mom. keep looking...we'll find it.

there was so much hope. belief. support. and encouragement.  it was pretty magical to see and hear. and be a part of.

and i have to share that if it wasn't for the kindness of the man with metal-finding-contraption, i don't think we would have ever found mary's wedding ring. he was the one who eventually found the band...buried in the sand.

money was offered to him for helping us.  but he didn't take it.  he said he was just happy to help.

of course, i had to get a picture of mary and the ever-so-kind good samaritan.