My First Session | Tara Photography

Tara Mayes
Tara Photography
St. Louis, MO Volunteer

Sweet baby Milo was my very first session [for On Angels’ Wings]. I had no idea what to expect. I was so nervous. So scared I would somehow ruin these photos that this family would never have another chance at taking.

You see, Milo was four months old and had already had two failed liver transplants and there was nothing else the doctors could do for this sweet soul. We were able to go out to Children’s beautiful garden. Milo was baptized first and I was able to capture some photos of that for the family. I was mostly able to hold it together. When Hailey’s mom was bent over, I could hear her whispering in her ear, “I got you, I got you,” and I had to turn away for a moment. When her daddy kneeled down beside Milo’s head, I caught my breath in my chest. Because he reminded me so much of my dad, and how I’d imagine he’d be reacting to a situation like this. Stoic, but underneath the harder exterior, you could see the grief and sadness.

I finished their session, and walked back to the parking garage. As soon as I pulled my car door handle, I completely lost it. I sat in my car for a good ten minutes sobbing. I was able to collect myself enough to drive home, but immediately started sobbing again when I walked in the door, and my kids ran up to hug me. And then as I was editing, I cried again. And again. And again. My mama heart cannot handle the thought of losing one of my babies. My mama heart wept for Hailey. For Damon. For Milo’s brothers. For his grandparents. For him.

As hard as these sessions are for me, that pain is nothing compared to what these families are feeling. Milo passed away the next day on October 11th. I reached out to Hailey to ask if I could share some of her words that she wrote for Milo’s eulogy:

 “Milo came to this world for a reason, and I believe that he did what he was sent to do. His short life changed the world. He changed me.”

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