This is a story of love.
It was supposed to be a story of a young woman, a very special young woman, who had a surprise visit to the amazingly fun Sweet and Sassy-Cherry Hill to celebrate her milestone birthday. The big 1-0. Double digs.
It was supposed to be a story about a young girl who has more going for her in her ten years of life than people four times her age. I was supposed to talk about her talent: as an actress, dancer, singer, selfie-taker.
I had planned on going on and on about the respectful and mannerful way she treated her elders. The please and thank you's she repeatedly greeted her personal esthetician with. The kind and sweet words she used with me as I spent my morning with her.
While other girls in the salon were being admonished by their mothers to "act like a lady", she sat there with a quiet, almost elegant, grace as she enjoyed her day of beauty.
The moment I met her, I had already started looking for the words to describe the sparkle in her eye that shone when she is happy, or a hyperbole strong enough to describe how long and luxurious her eyelashes are. Or to tell you that there are no words to describe the feeling one gets when she shoots you this smile that just, well..there are not words to describe how it makes you feel.
But no. Not gonna talk about any of that. Because as amazing and wonderful and just outstanding this little lady is, it all pales in comparison to something else I observed since the moment I was asked to photograph this day.
What I witnessed is a grandmother's powerful love for her granddaughter.
As this little piece of heaven's grandmother is a friend of mine from our work, I only get to see the side of her that we allow our co-workers to see. But being here with her grandchild, and watching how that changed her? It was powerful. Seeing this woman unable to hide her joy or pride when looking upon her little angel who every day is growing before her eyes. It gave me pause.
Listening to this grandmother brag and boast like a proud grandmother should was just heartwarming. Eavesdropping on her conversations as she spoke of her little piece of heaven made me realize...she is truly someone special.
While I was supposed to talk about the star of the day and tell you how even other guests at the salon thought she was a local celebrity and asked, "Who is she?" and "What news source do I work for?", it still wasn't the most striking part of the day.
The powerful, all-encompassing, primal, overwhelming and absolutely positively beautiful love I saw of a friend for her grandbaby.
It was not not only striking...
it was a little piece of heaven.