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I find it hard to believe that seven years have passed since I made the decision to pursue my dream of becoming a photographer. Even though it has been challenging, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I have had some amazing clients to photograph, and have made some lifelong friends. When the photos session is over, I can't wait to get home and upload the photos to see what I was able to capture. I love the finished product. A few years ago, I began blogging but have fallen behind in this area. I promise I will try to dedicate more time to my blog, so others can get to know the wonderful clients I am photographing. Many of them have interesting stories to tell. I also think it is interesting to see how couples met, and of their plans for the future. I am available most days to photograph you and your loved ones. Message or call for an appointment. View more on my website at http://brendakingphotography.com.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chris and Tina's Surprise Trip

I became facebook friends with Tina a few years ago. She and my sister Sue worked together for several years, and Sue spoke of her frequently. Tina's husband Chris was diagnosed with Stage I Meningioma in Jan 2011, and I had been following his progress online. I recently saw a post from Tina with a photo of a bed and breakfast in Winston-Salem, Sheppard House (www.bbinn.com). She and Chris were sitting in their car across the road from the B&B reminiscing about years they had spent there in the past celebrating their anniversary. She mentioned they had not been able to visit there the past few years due to financial difficulties relating to Chris' illness.  God spoke to me there, and I knew I had to do something about this.  I created a facebook event, and invited our mutual friends. I found that their anniversary is March 22, and wanted to raise the money to make reservations for them for two nights.  Some wonderful people responded and pledged a donation. After a few weeks, the full amount was raised (When the people from the B&B found out we only needed $48 more to make the reservation, they stated the $48 was on them, how amazing). The money was raised, and it was time to deliver the certificate to them.  I was so excited. Last night, my sister Sue and I went to their home. I must say I don't think I have ever met a more adorable and loving couple.  Of course, I took along my camera. Sue told Tina we were there to do family portraits. Good one Sue ! Everyone should have seen Tina's response, ha.   We gave them the certificate, and needless to say, they were very excited, and shed a few tears.  It was truly wonderful to see such a deserving couple receive this.

Even after all they have been through, they were so inspiring.  They are so positive about the future, and so grateful for all that has been done for them.  At one point Tina commented, "How can so many people love us so much ?"

This is a little of their story as told by Tina: Chris and I started dating in 1999 when I was a divorced mother of a 3 yr old feisty, red-head and 16 month old blue eyed-blonde. We were married in 2002 and Quinlan joined our family shortly thereafter. In January 2011, Chris was diagnosed with a Stage I Meningioma. He had surgery in June 2011 and we thought it was all behind us until December 25, 2011 when he woke up in severe pain. A trip to Winston Salem that morning confirmed our worst fears, that his tumor was back. He had 32 radiation treatments over a 6 week period from January through March 2012 (incidentally the last treatment was on our anniversary!) Unfortunately, the tumor continued to grow through the radiation. He had another surgery August 2012 to remove the tumor and his right eye (he lost his vision with the radiation treatment). He had a lot of complications after this surgery that resulted in 4 more surgeries, a feeding tube, and a PICC line....BUT by the Grace of God, he IS here and I cherish him every single day, because you never know what tomorrow may bring! We know that his tumor is back and has progressed to Stage II-III. We will return to Baptist on February 12th for another MRI and to discuss further treatment with his neurosurgeon. We don't know what the future holds BUT we know who holds us! God Bless You!

This is a response from Chris: Tina and I try to attend the Chip Ingram Seminar at The Cove every year. Fortunately we have been able to attend the past (3) years on a scholarship that The Cove offered (with us paying $100.00). We also try to see Third Day (my favorite band) in concert when they are close enough. I had been thinking that this year in lieu of going to The Cove and trying to get tickets to see Third Day that I wanted to take Tina to stay at our favorite B&B in Winston Salem for our anniversary. The problem I was having was the fact that Tina brings in all the income and knows EVERYTHING that comes in and goes out….So ultimately there was no way I could “slip it by her”. So I prayed about it….and asked God, if it was his will, that he “make it happen“. And guess what….God showed up! God is Good !

Isn't it amazing, that Chris (whom I had never met) was praying for God to provide a way, and God was also speaking to me to raise the money to provide the way.  Just proof that prayer works. 

This was a post from Tina last night, after they received the certificate: The strength of a friendship can be measured by the weight of the burden it's willing to share. So amazed, humbled, and blessed this evening....A few weeks back I talked about a special place that Chris Wilson and I share and a “hope” for days to come with this big ol' world of Facebook.... and today it happened....we got a special visit this evening from two beautiful sisters bringing smiles, hugs, laughter, and a gift. A gift of a weekend getaway for me and Chris to celebrate our anniversary in March at “our place“. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the people who made it happen! We are so blessed with friends who share our highs and lows.....God bless you and we love you all!! Thank you so much again...and again !

This is a few photos taken at their home when they received the certificate !






Chris told me to take a photo of him winking. He began 
counting 1, 2, 3, wink. He is so funny !




I think they were surprised !


Love this !



Morgan checking to see what the excitement is all about !




The Bed & Breakfast 


Thanks to everyone that made this possible for Tina & Chris !




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