Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. One grieving widow received a pleasant surprise from her photographer after a family photoshoot, and she says, it speaks a whole lot more than a thousand words.
“In my mind, I was like, ‘I might not be here. We need to take family photos.’ So my kids have at least a picture of their mom with their dad together. It was never a thought in my mind that my husband won’t be here,” said Anna Rodriguez.
Anna Rodriguez’s husband of 10 years, Modesto, passed away in late May.
His death came after her own health issues, that thankfully subsided after a big initial scare.
But Mo was struggling with his own health issues that Anna says he kept to himself.
“When I told my husband, ‘This is what I found.’ He just started crying and he’s like, ‘Okay, babe. I was so afraid that my kids were going to lose out on both parents.’ And I just, you know, I wasn’t sure as to what he was referring to. And I guess now I do,” Anna said.
Anna reached out to the same photographer who did their daughter’s newborn pictures. Her family was going to be in town from California and she wanted to schedule the pictures after her health scare.
“So I said, ‘Well, what dates are they going to be here? Let’s figure out the dates, you know?’ And then the next thing I know, Mo had passed away,” said Gina Rodriguez, photographer.
Mo planned a fishing trip for the entire family in May. But, he woke up that morning and decided to stay behind. He eventually went to the hospital and that day changed everything.
It wasn’t long before Anna got a call that her husband’s heart stopped and he was moved to ICU.
He died from congestive heart failure and kidney failure.
“Thankfully I got to show up at the hospital and see him and his family,” Anna said.
A couple months after Mo’s death, she wanted pictures in the sunflowers with her family and the result was so much more than she could’ve anticipated.
“Somewhat like he’s there but, of course, I didn’t want it to look like he was ‘there there.’ So, kind of opaque and he’s there in spirit with his family,” Gina said.
“I tell my sister, ‘Oh, the pictures are in! Here, look at the pictures.’ And then she’s like, ‘Oh my God, Mo is in the picture.’ I was like, ‘No he’s not. Mo is dead.’ And she’s like, ‘No, Anna! She put Mo in the picture!’ And I literally was like, ‘Let me see!’ She was like, ‘Put your hands on the steering wheel!’ Like, I literally forgot I was driving! I was like, ‘Oh my God! Let me see!’ She starts freaking out and I literally pulled over and I’m looking at the pictures and I just start bawling,” Anna said.
Anna says these pictures have been helping her grieve in a different kind of way.
“My biggest fear is that she won’t remember him. So, I do what I can to try and remind her like, ‘Hey, this is your dad.’ She sees the photos and any time she sees a picture of him, her face just lights up,” Anna said.
Anna says right now, she’s focused on keeping his memory alive and the picture is a big help.