A few weeks ago I was at the beach with my family, on my mom’s side. There were 12 adults and 8 children under the age of 7. Talk about a lot going on.

As with all family get together’s, I will bring my camera so we can get a few photos of everyone together. Typically no one really looks forward to the family photo (as I would imagine most of you feel the same way), however we all know its important since it is so rare for us to all be together nowadays.

The week flew by and I knew this photo needed to happen soon, or I would be kicking myself the entire way home for not getting it. It was Thursday morning, and Friday had already been determined a beach day (AKA, beach attire). Most of us had made some plans to go into town to sight see or run a few errands. Thursday would have to be picture day since we were leaving Saturday morning.

We basically just wanted a family picture with everyone and then individual families. Not to much to ask right?

Between 8 children and 12 adults with the camera set on a timer, we somehow managed to get it done, in relatively good time and no one had a meltdown, although I came close.

We all went on with our day and planned to meet back at the house for dinner later that evening.

During lunch, I received a phone call from my dad regarding my grandpa.

They had been on a carriage ride with my uncle and his family when it became apparent something wasn’t right.

Grandpa had had a stroke and was in the Emergency Room in the ICU.

By the grace of God a doctor had been on the tour and was able to assist my uncle in getting Grandpa out of the carriage until the ambulance arrived. They took him to the nearest hospital, which is 1 of 3 in the country that has the highest rate for the particular procedure my Grandpa’s brain required.

To make a long story a tiny bit shorter, my Grandpa was admitted into the hospital in Charleston for almost 5 days. My parents ended up staying with my Grandma in a hotel, since the rental house was up on Saturday. He was released on a Tuesday afternoon and my parents drove him straight through the night, home to Michigan.

He’s currently in a rehab facility doing somewhat better, although the first 60-90 days after a stroke are the most critical, from what I’ve heard.

I say all of this to tell you why pictures are so important to me. That family photo we took, that now seems so long ago, is incredibly precious to all of us. For obvious reasons.

God has a plan in everything that He does and our family could so clearly see His hand in what happened.

Please take the time to pull out your camera and snap a few pictures of you and your loved ones. You never know if it could be the last time.

extended family pictures