Dedicated to my MamaRita / Just as beautiful in that green bottle as she was here on Earth.
Clients would ask me, “Do you recommend a videographer if it’s not in our budget?” and I always said, “I did not have one and I do not regret that decision!” But then January 28th, 2021 happened. And I ate my words. How much did videographers cost back then? Maybe $2-$5K? If I could go back in time and pay $15K, I would have. Sure, there’s a budget. Sure, we put our ENTIRE wedding on credit cards because we had to pay for it ourselves. But once someone is no longer with you, you can’t put a price on the memories you can’t relive over and over again when you’re grieving their loss. We got married August 1st, 2014. It was the last time our ENTIRE family was together under one roof. Since then some of us had kids, there were divorces, there were falling outs, people moved out of the country, cancer, some people weren’t mobile enough to travel, COVID happened. I never stopped on the day of my wedding and thought, “this will be the last time your entire family will be together and everyone will get along and be nothing but happy.” Come 2015, I was pregnant and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. In 2016, I suffered from severe post partum anxiety, thyroid diagnoses, and my mom had to have a kidney removed from her cancer. Two years before this we were all generally healthy and danced at our wedding ALL. NIGHT. LONG. In fact, my biggest regret at the time was that I did not get off the dance floor once and I did not even meet some of my husband’s family!
Flash forward to today, it became one of the best decisions and memories I could ever hold space for. My mom danced her ASS off at our wedding. In fact, I didn’t get off of the dance floor because she did not get off of the dance floor. My parents were married for 52 years when she passed and they met in June of 1968 because my dad asked her to dance. It took me a month after my mom passing to realize I did not have ONE video of her, period. Long story short, when her kidney was removed they told her there was a chance it would come back and metastasize. Five years later, almost to the day, it did. She hid it from all of us for 10 months. When she was at the “30 days or less mark” she lost her balance and went to the hospital since she hit her head. That’s when they told her (and we found out) that the cancer had spread through her entire body and metastasized to three lesions on her brain. That was December 22, 2020.
I finally got to see her after a few challenges and the last day I ever saw my mom alive was January 19th, 2021. When I flew into town, she was hospitalized, not able to walk, and about to be discharged for home hospice. I stayed awake for 33 hours straight alone at her besides, due to COVID regulations. I did not want to close my eyes and sleep and miss out on one more chance to be with her. I watched her sleep the entire time, also while recorded voice notes of us talking. We talked about my weddings and how she said it was one of the best nights of her life and she just loved to dance non-stop all night long. I still can’t even listen to that voice note I recorded. Had I hired a videographer, I fully believe that I would be watching it non-stop, on repeat, every day since she passed on January 28, 2021. Life is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Whether someone’s health is declining or a family member’s health is absolutely perfect, you will still want recorded memories of the happy times; ESPECIALLY to get you through the trenches of grief. I didn’t hire a videographer. If I could go back in time, I would have fit that into my budget or taken out a new credit card. Right now I would pay ten grand to have my mom at my wedding, on video. So book yourselves a videographer, don’t do it because I told you so… Do it for my MamaRita.
The sunrise on the morning of January 28th, after her passing at 3:31` AM. July 11th, 1944 - January 28th, 2021 Now go hug your mom and tell her you love her, then book your videographer.