A good friend arranged for an artist to include our family in a series of portraits she hopes to exhibit in a few months. The Slayer was first up, and performed like a pro. This was a fun and interesting way to capture the spirit of our family.
The Big Steps - Milestones on Jordan's Journey
She’s got a lot of ingenuity. Even though her disabilities have kept her from reading fluently, she meticulously copies the words of things she likes in a spiral notebook. Then, she uses those words to find images on her iPad and post to her Pinterest boards. Low tech meets high tech.
The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried … Let us advance on Chaos and the Dark.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Slayer has been active. She’s had some rough days. The seizures still get in the way a lot. But she doesn’t let them stop her. She brought home a dazzling report card this week. And she’s taken to do more things for herself. For example, she asks to do her own laundry and seems to enjoy it (albeit on her terms). I’ve noticed that she delights in her own independence, and Jeanette and I do all that we can to let her do more for herself. She does not fear to try, which makes me a very proud papa.
It was a long day of events and activities. Here and there the beast interrupted, but The Slayer kept going. You’d think she’d go to bed early. Instead, she’s entertaining a group of visitors in our living room. That’s my girl.
They show signs of the journey she has taken. They were once the most perfect little feet you’ve ever seen. She ran, danced, jumped and tippy toed. She can’t do those things now, but still I love these feet. They are the feet of a cancer slayer. They give new meaning to the word footprint.
It dawned on me that we don’t have enough moving pictures of Jordan on this site. So, here’s a very brief conversation. She was preoccupied with her iPad. But you can see, she’s doing pretty well.
I am not religious. In fact, I am not even certain I could say I am spiritual. Raised in a church-going family with strong Lutheran and Catholic influences, I have read the bible, served at the altar, and sung in the choir. Yet, I lost interest in religion when Jordan embarked on her journey. That’s not to say I hold anything against my many friends who are strong in their faith. They offer prayers for Jordan and our family and I am always grateful as we accept them. But religion is hollow to me.
That’s why I was intrigued by the song in my head when I awoke this morning. It was an old 19th century hymn that we sang at Mt. Calvary Lutheran: a Protestant anthem nearly always accompanied by the bellowing blasts of a daunting pipe organ.
Guide me O Thou great Redeemer
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak but Thou art mighty
Hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven
Feed me now and evermore.
These were the hymns of my childhood, and the music geek in me secretly enjoyed their grandness; their drama. I found comfort in them not because of their message but because of their scale.
Today, our pilgrim begins chemo again. It’s an effort to restart the battle against cancer, who is abiding in her brain with great stealth. Her scans are stable, but her seizures are escalating. So, her team has opted to attack again to see if there is a way to starve the beast. The Slayer is about to return to her craft. She’s sanguine about her call to arms. For the rest of us, there is worry, doubt, restlessness.
Perhaps that is why my brain returned to music and Sunday mornings. I still put my faith in science and a girl with the courage of a lion. I know that she will guide me through this next stage of our journey, however barren it might prove. She is, indeed, “bread of heaven.” Today, I celebrate her with a refrain of hope and the blasts of a pipe organ.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
80’s day at The Slayer’s school. Look at that smile!
“Dad was having a nice time with his daughter”
Photo by Jordan Vincent
Title: Dad, Hanging Out
Saturday, January 26, 2013, Los Angeles, CA
Jordan Vincent is a photographer, a Pablove Shutterbug alumni, and a cancer slayer. She lives in Los Angeles.
Jordan’s last piece from her stint as Shutterbugs Photographer of the Month.
“I took this picture because my mom’s nails were just painted and they looked pretty.”
Photo by Jordan Vincent
Title: Pretty Hands, Santa Monica, CA
December 31, 2012
Jordan Vincent is a photographer, Pablove Shutterbug alumni, and a cancer slayer. She lives in Los Angeles.
My second assignment for Shutterbugs was published today.
“It’s a photo that makes me feel comfortable. I like to sit in the middle of the seat and listen to music with my mom on those days.”
Photo by Jordan Vincent
Title: In Car on Way to CHLA for Radiation Treatment
February 4th, 2011, Los Angeles, CA
Jordan Vincent is a photographer, a Pablove Shutterbug alumni, and a cancer slayer.
She lives in Los Angeles.
One of my photos was featured on the Pablove Shutterbugs blog today.
The Slayer is back from Portland where she spent over a week with family. She’s back from some pesky health issues, feeling and looking great. And she’s back behind the lens on assignment for Shutterbugs.
She has a lovely calmness in times of uncertainty. This week, before undergoing an MRI to see what cancer’s up to, she directed us all … talked up the nurses (who have known her for years) … and reminded me what grace really means. I so love her.