I found way too many others to scan, too. (Watch out, high school and college friends: I might scan some and post them on Facebook soon!) Somewhere along the way (probably back when she lived with us), I ended up with most of Hilary’s old photos. I think I have a massive scanning project ahead of me. (Hmm… Can I hire an Ethiopian to do that?)
As I was going through the photos, I found a few “photo shoots” that I did with Hilary and her best friend Molly in high school. Here they are at the battlefield at sunset; there they were at the park in the snow. I’d forgotten all about these shoots. I always loved photography but was terrible at it, and having a little point-and-shoot didn’t inspire too much creativity back then. Hilary always encouraged my hobby, though. Allowing me to scout locations and follow her and Molly around like that, she gave me my very first experiences as a “lifestyle” photographer. Today, Hilary pushes me even more, to put myself out there and grow as a photographer. I have so much self-doubt and have so much left to learn, I don’t even let myself imagine a future where this becomes more than a hobby. It’s ridiculous. But Hilary believes in me anyway. She has always pushed me to be a better person.
Now that I have two little girls, I see how lucky Charlotte is to have a younger sister. Willa is just thrilled to be around her. Charlotte got all of our attention for the first few years, and… now she still gets it… but Willa is just content to be in the same room with all of us. It’s like we have a little cheerleader in the corner. I imagine Hilary was always the same way. Happy Birthday, dear sister.