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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: Good bye Daddy.

Feb 22, 2009

Good bye Daddy.

Johnny Ray Williams
December 21, 1946-February 21, 2009

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"
2 Tim 4:7

A picture I took of my dad in 2006 giving tribute to his love of the confederacy in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium.

I don't even know where to begin.


The past 2 weeks have been a blurry whirlwind.

What day is it?

Let me rewind to two days before I left for Vegas. I honestly didn't want to book the trip, but in the weeks leading up to it, I had a talk with my dad, and he told me I needed to continue moving on with my life, and that this trip signified everything he had worked so hard for to set me up for success, and that I needed to go on the trip. So I booked the trip, planned the photoshoot workshop and my After Party.

Dad had been pretty level and was in comfort receiving home Hospice care. But then, he no longer was able to keep his medicine down due to a continued nauseous problem he was having after not eating since the beginning of the year. So two days before my trip, they moved him into the Hospice facility to try to get the nausea under control to be able to return home. I of course was about to cancel my trip to Vegas, but after a long talk with my mom, she encouraged me to go through with it and reminded me that daddy would want me to go.

The night before I left was Valentine's Day, so I brought my dad some chocolate covered strawberries. He couldn't eat any, but I ate some for him. He was the first man I ever loved, and I couldn't think of a more perfect person to be my Valentine this year. At this point, he was still conscious, but really could only mutter a few words here and there. When my mom got back from errands, we both held his hands and said the most beautiful long heartfelt prayer recalling all our wonderful memories of the life the three of us shared and how thankful we were for all my dad sacrificed to provide my mother and I such a blessed life of abundance. The tears poured down my face as the three of us poured our hearts out to God. We could truly feel His presence in the room, and it was the closure I needed to get on the plane the next day. As I said goodbye, I told him not to go anywhere until I got back from Vegas, and was praying hard that the Lord would allow that to happen.

Fast forward to dinner one night in Vegas. I spoke to my dad one last time on the phone, and though he could only respond with one word at a time, I will cherish that last conversation.

On Thursday night, my mom picked me up from the airport to inform me that earlier that day, daddy became unconscious. We went straight to Hospice, luggage and all, and spent two nights there sleeping on cots beside his bed. It was such a joy that they also allowed us to bring our dogs, my dog Rhett, his "grandpup" and my mom's dog Lucky, my "sister," so that the whole family could be there. Friday morning, the doctor came in to check his vitals and told us that with all the signs he was showing, she didn't expect him to last more than a few hours. Hearing the news, it was the first time I truly cried since I got back. I couldn't believe how close the end was approaching, but at the same time, I was sooooo thankful that he waited until I got back from Vegas. All day Friday, I stayed by his side. I just couldn't leave. As torturous as it was waiting for his last breath, I wanted to be there, as hard as it was to watch him suffer. Though he had been unconscious the past 24 hours and couldn't respond, my mom and I had heard that hearing was the last thing to go, so we continued to talk to him as we always did.

The most beautiful moment we shared was when my mom was having a breakdown moment crying because she wanted to simply lay next to him one more time. In the past few months, my mom had been sleeping in the guest room as to not disturb my dad's sleep at night in their bed, and my mom truly missed laying next to her husband. But since she couldn't lay next to him in the Hospice bed, she stood in front of him and said "Johnny, open your eyes one more time, I need you to open your eyes and look at me one more time before you leave. Honey, will you look at me?" And he did, he opened his eyes for her!!! I jumped up from my cot and was like "Wait, daddy, I want you to see me one more time too, can you open your eyes for me too?" He wasn't able to open his eyes, but he did move his eyebrows up and down as if he was trying. It just meant so much and I'll never forget that moment of seeing his eyes one last time looking at my mom.

(Ok, sorry, have to wipe the tears before I continue.... They still come and go....)

He continued to last through Friday night, the nurses were saying he had the strongest heart holding on that they had ever seen! I would agree. Yesterday morning, I awoke to my mom getting ready to head out to do errands. Before she left, we stood over him and prayed again. Then she headed out and I went back to sleep. Around 11am, his best friend Ed stopped by one more time to check in on him and say goodbye, and I took Rhett out on a walk. I came back in, and Ed headed out. After Ed left, daddy's breathing started to change, almost as if he was gasping for air in those last few breaths. Then mom walked back in, and rushed to his side. The gasps of air became stronger, almost like coughs and he started to make noise that sounded almost like his voice trying to say goodbye. My mom and I stood by his side and simply started to worship the Lord by singing Amazing Grace and other hymns as we stroked him and told him that it was ok to let go. As we continued to sing, he took his last breath and we slowly started to see his pulse come to a stop. It truly was the perfect moment and what an honor it was to send him off to Jesus in the midst of our worship.

Needless to say, it has been an emotional roller coaster. Tears on and off, and in between moments of numbness, like, did this really happen? Is he really gone? The past 8 months since we heard the news of his cancer definitely went by way too fast, but yet, it was the most incredible memorable 8 months of my life. I have never felt God's presence so strong through the last memories my mom and I shared with my dad, and all the wonderful prayers from each and one of you.

I won't be able to thank each one of you personally, but for all who have reached out through Facebook, Twitter, text messages, phone calls and emails, please know from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being a friend and being my brother and sister in Christ lifting my family up during this difficult time. Though I can't respond to them all, I have read each of your beautiful words and hold them tight in my heart!!!

Also, my mom and I will not be mourning his death, but instead throwing him a huge party for his funeral as a celebration of his life. For those who have shared in our journey, we are opening it up to all to attend. The funeral will be next Saturday, Feb 28th at noon at Ponte Vedra Valley Cemetery. As you can imagine, my inbox is slammed right now, so if you have questions about the funeral arrangements, please email Mark at mark_sweeney@me.com who can help answer your questions. Also, my mom and I request that you not send flowers, but instead make donations to either:

*The American Cancer Society in honor of my dad's name.
*Northeast Florida Community Hospice in honor of my dad's name.

And with my dad's great passion for Southern history, we also ask donations be made in his name to:
*The Jacksonville Museum of Southern History. You can email curator@museumsouthernhistory.com for more info.
*The Sons of the Confederate Veterans. You can email CJ Hart at calvinhart@bellsouth.net for more info.

Lastly. For those who follow me on Twitter, I know a lot of you have been wondering who this @mark_sweeney guy is that I was chatting a lot about while in Vegas. I'm going to keep it on the downlow for now, but I do want to share that he is an amazing source of joy that has come into my life during this difficult time. We shared a romantic first kiss on the Eiffel Tower in Vegas, and things have continued to unfold so much more beautiful than I could ever imagine. We are both excited to see what God has in store for us, but I'm going to keep this part of my life private for the time being. But Mark is definitely a comforting angel that is helping me to smile and laugh a lot right now, and I'm so thankful for his presence in my life. Also, too, I want to share that his mom is also battling cancer right now, so please lift her up in prayer as well. Our parents were diagnosed around the same time, and she is doing remarkably well at the moment. God is good. You can read about her journey through the blog he started for her at lorrainesfight.blogspot.com.

Again, THANK YOU for all your support. Your prayers have kept me strong. I cherish each one of you and your friendship. May God bless you in return with His sweet love.

p.s. I have TONS AND TONS of pics from WPPI that I can't wait to share with everyone, but I will be doing a big belated post about that once the funeral is behind me. Stay tuned!

p.p.s. This is the reason I love blogs, being able to document life along the way, for the times you want to reflect back. Here are some old posts about my dad I want to share. I feel so blessed to have all these great memories documented!




Blogger Karla said...


February 22, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Mary Marantz said...

We love you and are thinking of you guys!

February 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

you are an amazing person. strong and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I am so sorry for the loss of your father.

February 22, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Natalie Franke said...

I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time. Your faith is truly inspiring.

February 22, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a great thing that you and your father had a love for each other and were able to share that love while he was alive. Not everyone has that, in fact it's fewer and fewer. Your blog brought me to tears. What an amazing tribute to someone you loved. Thank you for sharing!

February 22, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't have imagined a better send off: in the midst of worship. The vast multitude of angels were singing along with you and your mom. I can't attend the funeral but I will be celebrating with you in spirit.

February 22, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger www.ashleybrockinton.com said...

Crying with you and praying for you. I'm so sorry.

February 22, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Amy Clifton said...

You and your mother continue to amaze me with your strength and grace and faith during all of the ups and downs of the past months. Your father surely received the most precious escort ever from this world to the next, with the worship and love from you and your mom. What a gift you ladies gave this man you love so dearly! When a family is as close as yours, no amount of time is ever enough...but you all certainly lived it to the fullest, and I hope that brings you some comfort. You and your mother continue to be in my prayers.

February 22, 2009 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

I am praying for you and your mom and will continue to hold you guys up in prayer. Even tho we have never met, I wish I could give you and your mom a great big hug and personally thank you for the inspiration you have been to me through this difficult time.

February 22, 2009 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Amanda M said...

What an emotional roller coaster, Scarlett. You def. got your mother's writing skills! I felt like I was singing Amazing Grace right there with you all when your father entered heaven. You and your mom have been on my mind for the last 24 hours and will continue to be. God Bless!

February 22, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I don't expect you to respond back.. but I sincerely thank you for opening up such a sacred and beautiful moment in your life..

The tears that I have shed reading your post do not compare to the ones you are and will be shedding.. but please know that your spiritual family members all over the continent are grieving with you and your mom, me included..

I will continue to pray for you as a sister in Christ, and hope we can meet one of these days.

February 22, 2009 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Jamie N. said...


I praise the Lord that your Daddy is with Jesus now and that he is at our Savior's feet worshiping Him. :)

You have been in me & my husband's prayers so much the last year and are continuing to be so.

Even as His presence has been with you so strong this past year, may He always continue to be strong in all you do & your mom.

Much Love from a fellow Sister in Christ,

Jamie Koluch

February 22, 2009 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Reading this was emotional for me...not b/c I knew your Dad, but I lost my grandmother last Tuesday morning and reading this reminded me of the last hours with her. It was surreal and amazing and sad and I have never hurt so bad in my life.

But, alas, God is good and she is in Heaven and I rejoice in that.

God Bless.

February 22, 2009 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger jamiedelaine said...

Beautiful post Scarlett. You have a way with words.

I'll be praying for and your mother this week.

February 22, 2009 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Nataly Lemus said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. You and your mom will be in my prayers through these hard times. The strength that you and your mom have is truly amazing. God Bless.

February 22, 2009 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Christopher Kijowski said...

Scarlett, I'm sorry again for your loss. I know what it was like losing my grandmoher last year. Keep your faith and it will keep you. God Bless.

February 22, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scarlett, What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. It has been such a blessing to follow their faith through your Dad's blog. They have been such an inspiration to me. I am blessed to be their neighbor! We love you and will continue to lift you up to our Lord.

February 22, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Suzie said...

Scarlett, I am so sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you and your mom. Reading this was like reading a post from my life; eerily similar to exactly what I went thru 10 years ago. I DO know how hard it is and I DO know what you're going thru right now, that's why my heart aches for you. Virtual {{hugs}} to you and your family!

February 22, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Morgan Matters said...

Your family is an inspiration to us all!

We are praying for you & wishing you peace and comfort!!

February 22, 2009 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Leslie Roark Photography said...

I have a lump in my throat and tears are pouring out of my eyes. I'm so sorry for your loss and will continue to lift your family up in my prayers.

February 22, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Latrice of Bridal Opulence said...

What a powerful tribute, I am crying with you but also rejoicing that you were able to see him off to be with the Lord in the midst of worship. How powerful! Please know that I am praying for your continued strength for you & your Mom.
Your faith is such an inspiration.

Be blessed,

February 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Barely Domestic Mama said...

Scarlett, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for showing your incredible faith while you have been on this journey. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.


February 22, 2009 at 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sweet tribute to your daddy. He will be proud of you and your mom for celebrating his life instead of mourning his death. His passing sounds similar to my grandpa's earlier this year. They were singing Amazing Grace and he sat up and opened his eyes (after being unconscious for 24 hours) and held up his hands to reaching out to Heaven and then laid down and was gone. I've been praying Ephesians 1:17-19 over you. Much love!

February 22, 2009 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Bekah said...

I only knew you briefly in High School ~ lunches in the breezeway with Emily and a few other friends.. but from what I have read you have grown up into a strong and centered woman.

I pray that God's peace will fill the hearts of you and your mother and family and friends. I know the loss while expected is never easy and your gift of photography captured the beauty of your father's life.

God Bless

February 22, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Grits said...

Praying for you, Miss Scarlet!

February 22, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Michele B said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. Please remember how much you are loved and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God bless <3

February 22, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I love you Scarlett, my friend and sister in Christ. I am constantly amazed by the way the Spirit of God shines in your life, and today is no different. You are in my heart and prayers!!

February 22, 2009 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Charlotte Wedding Photographer - Cheyenne Schultz said...

There aren't really words except to say thank you so much for sharing these touching last moments between you, your mom, and your dad. I'm sitting here sobbing over my computer - my heart is broken for you both, but I'm glad you have the peace of Christ to comfort you through it.

Much love,

February 22, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Tina Louise said...

Beautiful post! My heart goes out to you and your Mom. God bless.

February 22, 2009 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

That was incredibly moving and beautiful. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May God to continue to Bless you.

February 22, 2009 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger KamRoss said...

Shedding a few tears for you. I too have always seen funerals as a celebration of life - not that it is easy to say goodbye but there are so many wonderful memories of loved ones! Will continue to keep you in our prayers.

February 22, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Val McCormick Photography said...

Tears are pouring as you took me back to a time that I had to say goodbye to the dreaded C word. We too had a celebration of life and still do with wonderful memories. Your family as well as Lorraine are our thoughts and prayers.
~Big Hugs~

February 22, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

You know I've been praying for you and your mom. I have nothing else to give but prayer. I hope your daddy's celebration is filled with love, laughter, and joy during this time of pain. xoxo...

February 22, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Farrar Four said...

Oh Scarlett! My heart breaks for you! I am so sad for you and your mother left here on earth, but rejoicing as your father is now walkin the streets of Gold! He has a FRONT ROW seat now to the Seminole's games! I have had you on my heart since Friday and I'm so blessed by your post and your tribute to your father. My God's peace cover you and Mrs. Rene as you trudge this road ahead! Blessings to you both!

Much Love!

February 22, 2009 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger mpcphotography said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

February 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography said...

You and your mother have so much strength and faith. It really is inspiring! It's beautiful how you both have honored your father's memory and I hope that blogging has been a source of comfort for you both. I wish I could celebrate the memory of your father with you, but I'm having surgery on Wednesday and I don't think I will be able to go out yet by then. Matt and I will definitely make a donation to ACS in honor of Johnny, though. Matt and I actually met at an ACS fundraiser and he supported me through my loss of two grandparents to cancer. I'm so happy that you have found someone to be there for you with love, support, and encouragement as well, and I will certainly keep Mark's mother in my thoughts and prayers.

February 22, 2009 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger McCoy Studio said...

I'm so sorry for your loss...know you are lifted up in prayer.

February 22, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger b.mofoto said...

I haven't even read the post yet but I sit here with tear in my eyes...that image of your father is breathtaking. You, my sweet friend are an amazing woman. I am lifting you up! I love you...thank you for sharing your heart!

February 22, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Charlotte Justine said...

Thank you for sharing such an inspirational, personal, and spiritual moment with us. How great that your father went into an eternal celebration with Jesus with you guys singing him into glory! It's such an amazing thing for me to imagine! The faith that you guys have is amazing, and I pray the peace that God gives will prove to surpass your understand during this time. Our prayers are with you!

February 22, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Staja Studios said...

Scarlett - I saw the video from an earlier post that you took with your dad. I can only imagine, when you do play it eventually, your dad will look down and smile. Although we don't really know one another, I wish you and your family my condolences, and the strength for the times to come.

February 22, 2009 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

My deepest sympathies to you and your mom. I am saddened that your dad has lost his battle. By living your life with all that he has taught you, you will be his greatest legacy.


February 22, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Haley Lamb said...

my eyes are filled with tears as I read about your loss. Praying God's peace over you and your mom.

February 22, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Scarlett, So comforted to know that Jesus is in your families lives. I have heard your pain on Twitter and have prayed along with you in this journey. Nothing will replace a loved one. I pray that God comfort you and your family.

February 22, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we know you will see him again! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. Indeed, God is good!

Mike and Cat

February 22, 2009 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Evan Cooper said...

Scareltt!! This literally brought me to tears. I read your heart. You are an amzing young women and contunue to keep the faith!! Your dad has gone away to his reward. It is a joy to know that. And to know that the blessings and the presence of the Lord will be upon you!! I continue to pray that you will feel peace, comfort, and love like you have never felt before!!! BIG hugs!!!


February 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

Scarlett, I cried as I read this. I'm so glad he held on for you to get back from WPPI. I'm so glad you both got to see his eyes one last time. I'm so glad you were both there singing to him as he took his last breath. I'm so glad he's now with Jesus in no more pain! Praying for you!

February 23, 2009 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Rylin Photography said...

Oh I just cried the whole way though that. Thank you so much for posting that. My prayers are with you and your family.

February 23, 2009 at 12:48 AM  
Blogger Studio222 Photography said...

Oh Scarlett, I'm definitely crying now. Nate and I are keeping you and your mom in our prayers. I wasn't there, and I don't even know your family, but I feel so overwhelmed by the story of your dad looking at your mom one last time. That is so beyond beautiful and such a wonderful thing for her and for you to witness. What a shining example of true love. I know this time must be exceptionally difficult for you and I know there is really nothing I can say to help so just know that you are being supported in prayers and if you need a friend in Orlando, you've got it.

February 23, 2009 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger Tracy (Serendipity Images) said...

Scarlett - I can't even begin to imagine what you and your mother have been going through. I am so truly sorry for the loss of your father. I love that you are choosing to celebrate his life, not mourn his death. My thoughts are with you & your family during this difficult time.

February 23, 2009 at 2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Crying) Scarlett,thank you for sharing your story and letting us all into your life. You are so strong and your words have been inspirational. My prayers are with you and your family. I know how proud your dad is of his little girl.

February 23, 2009 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger Chelsea Nicole said...

Scarlett, I'm so sorry to hear that you are having to go through this. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. <3

February 23, 2009 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger Teresa Ribeiro said...

Hey sweet Scarlett,

Nelson and I will keep you in our prayers. You and your mom are such strong forces as women and I am amazed how calm you are in the midst of the storm. You truly are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing these moments with the cyber world and knowing full well we are here to embrace you. We cannot wait to see you again.
p.s. good luck with your new love interest.

Much love. Nelson & Teresa

February 23, 2009 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

So sorry to hear about your dad, but what an amazing way to spend the last moments with him.

If you haven't heard it before, check out the song Safely Home by Steve Green.

February 23, 2009 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Dear Scarlett,

Words cannot express my feelings for you your mom and dad right now. Just know that he is so happy with his Savior right now. You two ladies are so strong and I know that God will continue to bless you and give you peace. Even though you will miss your Daddy, please know that he is always with you. He sounds like a fantastic man and I pray that you have peace and strength during this time.

God bless both of you and tell your mom I hope to give her a big hug when I come to see you in April.

No one can replace your daddy but know that someday you will see him again! Praise GOD!
Hugs and Love,

February 23, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Kenzie Shores Photography said...

you and your mom amaze me with your faith in God. I started to really tear up when reading the part about you singing to him as he walked to Jesus. I can't think of a better way to enter into heaven, then having your family members sing to you and hearing their voices. You are a beautiful and strong woman. God bless you. John and I will continue to lift you and your mom up in prayer

February 23, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Jaren said...

Such a beautiful tribute...your's is a family that is truly blessed....love and prayers, Jaren

February 23, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger lauren clark said...

Scarlett, I'm so sad for you. I will be praying for your family right now!

February 23, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Laura Lu said...

oh precious scarlett, i sobbed my way through this post. i have been praying so hard for your family so this post was a tough one. i rejoice with you that your sweet daddy is no longer suffering but i mourn with you and your mom for your earthly loss. these last few days i have been praying over and over for you and your mom to be overwhelmed with the presence of Christ and i will continue praying that as you celebrate his life. i continue to pray for you and mark and i'm grateful the Lord has brought him into your life.


February 23, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Stacy Cross said...

I am so, so deeply sorry for your loss, but I also share in your joy at his trip to heaven. Please know I am praying for you and your mom and won't have you out of my mind for a moment. Love, Stacy

February 23, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Rebekah Price said...

wow!! how amazing to usher your father into glory, holding his hand and being there with him in his last moments! what a gift! :) praying for you & your mom. :)

February 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger pinkcoffee photoart said...

scarlett, i just heard a song by jeremy camp that made me think of your dad, "There Will Be a Day". it's beautiful. love you!

February 23, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Truly Engaging said...

You are an amazing family~ i'm sure just as God intended for families to be! Blessings for a wang a doo celebration!

February 23, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Amy DeYoung said...

Hugs and prayers!!! I was there for my grandfathers last breath and so I know how truly thankful you are that you were a part of his last moments here on earth. (wiping the tears) I will be praying for you and your family and I hope your party is a huge celebration!

God bless,

February 23, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger KellyLee said...

Wow, your raw emotions and your praise to Jesus for his impassable peace are such a blessing to read. I am only all the more sad we didn't get a chance to meet you at WPPI. I will make sure to stop and pray for the holy spirit to grant you peace as you unpack your grief and move forward.

February 23, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Tira J said...

Scarlett, you and your Mom are in our prayers and it brings joy to my heart to know that your father was a believer. And, I am also glad you have Mark in your life through this difficult time. We love you.

February 23, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger LeeYen Lobendahn said...

How beautiful this was. You now know that your father will always be watching and there for you, only this time, he has no pain. May you and your Mom stay strong and continue to do what you love as that is what he encouraged you to.

February 23, 2009 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Rhendy Amador said...

Scarlett, my family and I are lifting you and your mother in prayer for comfort. I've followed your blog for awhile and I want to tell you how proud I am of you and your mother for your strength. I'm proud of your father for his great faith and strength, what an amazing man. He will be missed here on earth, but I know the angels are so happy he is home. Thank you for sharing even in the midst of your pain.

February 23, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger EDWIN TUYAY said...

You are beautiful and a very strong person. God Bless you and your family.

February 23, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Suzi Scott said...

All I can say is Amazing. I am praying for you and your mom!

February 23, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah :) said...

Oh Scarlett, I've cried many times, with you as you've shared so openly about your daddy. What an awesome gift that you and your mom were able to worship w/him as he went into the presence of our Savior! Awesome!

Although we've never met, please know that you have a sister in Christ praying for you and loving you!

Big HUGS from South Florida!


February 23, 2009 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Jerry in Tampa said...

Scarlett - I had to let my eyes dry some before being able to peck on the keyboard... Spiritually I am holding you and your Mom in my arms... You both have your focus on our Creator so I know you will be fine! Scarlet, remember this - you will NEVER have a love like the way your father loved you! Cherish it! I know you will. I wish you peace, my friend!

Jerry in Tampa

February 23, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

So sorry for your huge loss. Hugs and prayers to you and your Mom. I am glad you have a comforting angel to be there for you.

Take care,


February 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Nicole Benitez, Quantico, VA said...

Scarlett, Your family is in my prayers. What an amazing life and amazing sendoff for your daddy to join Jesus, how truly lucky he is. We are also lucky to have you in our lives with your courage to share and love and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord, even in the midst of pain. You're in our prayers.

February 23, 2009 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

i just cried...

as you know, i've been following you since you were at the other blog.

you are amazing, and your family is in my prayers!

February 23, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger RachelA said...

Oh Scarlett!
There are absolutely no words. I want you to know your family is in my prayers. Your entry has been a blessing. What a powerful, powerful way to go through this difficult time in your life. The angels are rejoicing that one of God's own has come home. I pray that you and your mother draw strength from Jesus.
Love, Rachel Absher

February 23, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Corinna Hoffman Photography said...

Beautiful tribute to your Dad, Scar. We're all praying for you and your mom. Your dad did put on a good fight.

February 23, 2009 at 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. So awesome you were able to say goodbye.

February 24, 2009 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger Mike F said...

Scarlett, I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

- Mike Fretto

February 24, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Shara Lana Pisowicz said...

Hugs and Prayers Sister. May Jesus continue to be the center of your life. Your Daddy's Love and Grace shines through you. I know that he is so proud. To praise over your Daddy as he left for Home was the ultimate tribute of a life well lived. God has truly blessed him.

February 24, 2009 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger clarine Smith said...

Scarlett, I am one of the many who do not know you personally. You are in my prayers and I was brought to tears over your story. Thank you again for always blogging your life from your soul and being such a devoted Christian and daughter, photographer and just a wonderful person. God Bless!

February 24, 2009 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Candice of 'The Beautiful Mess' said...

We are sending prayers of love and comfort to you and your mom.

February 24, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Kia said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. God Bless.

February 24, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Rachel Brooke said...

This is by far the most powerful transition story from earth to heaven I have ever heard of. Can you imagine...hearing his two favorite women singing him a song then moments later getting to hear the angels of heaven continue the hymn?

I am praying for your today.

February 24, 2009 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger AngeliquePhotography said...

Scarlett, I am sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers during this difficult time. Thanks for sharing your story, you are truly an inspiration.

February 24, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Your faith is astounding and will carry you through this. When I look back at my dad's death, I always remember two things (of which I know you know)... God will not give you more than you can handle (He knows you are STRONG) and what does not kill you will only make you stronger. Many prayers for you and your mom as you cope with the loss of your loving father and husband.

February 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Jen Olsen said...

Scarlett.....you have touched my heart and everyone else's with your words. What great faith and trust you have in the Lord.! It's sad, but joyous as we know your father is in the presence of our Savior...he's truly home. I am inspired by your strength as well as your mom's. Thank you so much for sharing and keeping the Lord in your work and words. You are truly a huge inspiration in my life. Thank you.

February 24, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Tessa said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone here. I've been praying for your family since you first announced the news, and will continue to pray for comfort in this time for you and your mom.

Our God is AWESOME and I know He has amazing plans for you and I eagerly await to see them unfold here on your blog!

Blessings- Tessa

February 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Lisette Price Photography said...

Scarlett you are so brave to share those final moments with all of us. I am praying for peace for you and your mom during this difficult time.

February 24, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger LiveLoveLaugh Photography said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal and emotional experience with everyone. I can imagine how hard it is to go through it let alone talk about it.

Your love shines through every word you wrote and I have no doubt your father will watch down upon you to witness your future!

February 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Momdenn said...

Oh Scarlett! I cried at this post not only at the loss of I'm sure such a great man, but at the joy y'all have that he is now not suffering anymore and is with Jesus. I think it's great that y'all are having a celebration of his life! If I could, I would be there to support you. Keep loving Jesus and doing your incredible talent for Him! :-) Hugs!

February 24, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Thankful that your Dad is home praising Jesus. Blessings on you and your Mom.

February 24, 2009 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

"You promised me, Lord, that if I followed You, You would walk with me always.
But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of prints in the sand.
Why, When I have needed You most, You have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you."

God bless you and your family Scarlett!

February 24, 2009 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger R.E.PhotoDesign said...

Scarlett, I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I hope you enjoy the celebration. It sounds like he was truely loved.
It was great briefly meeting you at the Portrait House shoot!

February 25, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Jackie Jones said...

Scarlett, I'm so sorry for the loss of your wonderful father. I will continue you to pray for you and you mom.

February 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Your photographs from your Father daughter dance, just brought tears to my eyes. You had a wonderful relationship with your dad. Keep that always close to your heart! I, like so many others here, are praying for you. God Bless.

February 25, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Jasmine Marie said...

I've been thinking of what to say to express how sorry I am for your loss. This was so beautifully written it really brought tears to my eyes. God has given you such a wonderful dad and so many memories. I pray that He'll keep you close by during this difficult time.

It's interesting how God provides even in our darkest moments. When my grandma passed away, he gave me a man to support me and help me during that hard time. Seven years later, he's now my husband. :)

I'm glad you have such a world of support through family, friends, the Internet peeps, and Mark Sweeney. :) God bless!

February 25, 2009 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Beautiful Moments Photography said...

Oh Scarlett, all day on Saturday I was checking my tiwtter to see if there was any news. I remember saying to Becker and Jackie that your father had passed and thinking that I can't begin to express how sad I am for you and your Mother. I was fine reading your beautiful post until the part where your mother asked him to look at her one last time, Oh my, what a touching and terribly sad moment. I've had you in my heart and thoughts all week and just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you. Warm hugs (((((((Scarlett))))))))

February 26, 2009 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Eliana@BYSE said...

I am so sorry for your loss Scarlett. I am here for anything that you may need!

Love always,

February 26, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger michelle peek said...

I am praying for you and your Mom.
May God's peace continue to surround you.

February 26, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

hi scarlett, just a blog reader that has never commented until now. i'm 24 and lost my father in june...3 months before my wedding. i am praying for you and your mom and i can only imagine what a blessing mark has been for you. maybe that's why your Dad was ok with you going to vegas for WPPI...he knew that would bring you two together so that Mark could be there for you during this hard time. God & Fathers work in mysterious ways like that :). Thoughts and prayers for you. Stay strong.

February 26, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

So thankful you got to be with him. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you all the strength during this difficult time.

February 27, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Rene Williams said...

Thanks to all of you for your sweet love and support.......it lifts us up on wings of angels!

March 2, 2009 at 1:28 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Lovely post. So well written.
My own father has just been diagnosed with cancer (his second) with very poor prognosis. It is hard. May search you out on Facebook:)

March 2, 2009 at 4:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say a prayer for you and your mother tonight. Sorry to hear about your father.

March 3, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Spahulu Photography said...

Thanks Scarlett for sharing the beautiful life of your precious father! I am new to photography and came across your blog this morning. It is now almost afternoon as I have been reading, crying, and cherishing the love and tribute you have for your father. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to celebrate life! Much luv and God bless.

March 7, 2009 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Kerline Docteur said...

Thank you for reminding me one more time that life is too precious to not cherish it. I love my parents, but I am and will always be a daddy's girl...I have to call my dad tomorrow.

May God bless you and your mother during this time...his memory lives on in both of you.

March 9, 2009 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Eddie Bojorquez (Studio 512) said...

Praise be to God that you will see your dad again. Blessings to you and your entire family.

April 1, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminded me of the experience I had when my grandma passed two years ago. It made me cry but thankful for the time I got to spend with her before she moved on to be with the Lord. Thank you for your honesty and my heart goes out to you and your family.

April 10, 2009 at 12:18 AM  

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