Friday, January 7, 2011

In Memory | A Tribute

I had the privilege of meeting Tommy Camacho once, but cannot claim to have really known him. He was the beloved husband of one of my oldest friends and he passed from this earth the day after New Year's, following a valiant battle against cancer. What I do know of Tommy is that he was first and foremost a cowboy, that he had faith in God and family, that he had the love of his precious wife, and that he loved her.

People may read this post and feel discomfort or be repulsed, thinking it too morbid. And whether or not there are those who may judge or point fingers, I am choosing to demonstrate my love in this small way for the man who I believe was one of the greatest things to have happened in my friend's life.

I know that she is hurting and that she is angry that he is no longer here with her in body. I also sense the loss she feels for the future that should have been for them. But I also know that she will want to remember every detail of every last moment that she had with him. I know this because I know her. And love her very much.

So this is my tribute to my friend and her beloved. If you walk away with anything after seeing this post, let it be that you remember to love your loved ones every moment of every day.

Paige, miracles happen all the time all around us. People may think that a miracle would have been if Tommy had stood right up and walked out of that hospital in Houston, but I believe that Tommy was the miracle. And you were his.

"Celebrate, baby, celebrate. He's out there ropin' or catchin' a big fish."

"Go on home and get some rest, Precious."


  1. from what little i know of paige, she seems to radiate a sincere joy, laughter and life. thought it was too short, thank god for the precious time they had together. i pray that she take comfort in the depth of that joy, laughter and life.

    so sorry for your loss.

  2. What an amazing gift! I think a life is to be celebrated. We would celebrate our love ones in life as well as in death. I honestly there are experiences that happen that we don't necessarily embrace or remember because of the circumstances, and I think on most occasions they are things we do want memorialized or remembered. So I think this will hopefully be a lovely tribute and memorial for a great man on a day where he was celebrated(though a very sad day for those left behind, I am certain he would prefer the celebration)

    Thank you for sharing and my thoughts and prayers to your dear friend!!!

  3. I have never been so repulsed by such a narcissistic display in all my life. Pictures of people in their worst moment and a picture of the end of life heart monitor. You have to be kidding me. You should be ashamed of yourself. A friend? Not the kind of friend I would want. Shame on you.

  4. Paige, I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't have the pleasure of meeting your husband and I know we haven't seen one another since high school, but my heart goes out to you.

  5. dear kathrynr,
    how are you able to write something so disrespectful without knowing the wishes of the people and situation involved? i hate that i'm having to post something on here to you when this should be a place for comforting words for the grieving. yony has nothing to defend and surely not to someone who decides to "shame" another adult. i pity your ignorance.

  6. I have thought some today about what to say in response to kathrynr's comment. I've been coached by some to simply delete her words and forget about it, but I'm choosing to leave them.

    I will not apologize for my tribute or images because I believe that they are beautiful in their own right. Life is not always "nice" to look at, but everything about our existence is a gift and a miracle. And my faith leads me to believe that this man simply left this existence to go to a much, much better one... to me, this is reason to celebrate. To me, these images are glimpses of love and they tell a small part of his story and that of my dear friend.

    I could make blanket statements about you, kathrynr, based solely on your comment, but I choose not to because I don't know your whole story. I'm not going to jump down your throat and judge you because I have no right to do so.

    But I will say this: I'm not ashamed of my work, myself, or the kind of friend that I am. I know where I stand with God, myself, and my loved ones and that's really all that matters to me.

  7. Well, I was going to leave a long, supportive comment, but I can't top your response, Yony. Amen, and ditto. :)

  8. Yony Lee Kim! I feel truly blessed to have a friend like you and your dear friend Paige must surely feel the same with the beautiful gift you gave her in those images of a love so obvious! God bless. Lisa M

  9. Death is a part of life and an impactful (made up word) one - we document births, first communions, graduations, weddings. I actually love the idea of removing the shroud over death and while mourning the loss of those we love, not denying them, or ourselves, our memories of their last days. I love all of this.
    This is very, very special. Yony, you already I know I think you're so great, but now I think you are even more, because you were a photographer able to accurately and lovingly capture these moments.

  10. Paige, there are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. You and your loved ones have been in my prayer. You have a whole community out here sending our love your way.

  11. Paige, though I don't know you, I still wish to offer my condolences to you at this very, very difficult time. You are a beautiful woman and I can just see from these pictures how much you were and are still in love with your man! I think what you and Yony set out to accomplish through these pictures went above and beyond expectations...they are absolutely filled with love and life!

    ....kathrynr, you could only dream of having a friend like yony. really.

  12. Yony ~ I cannot put into words how touching and beautiful this tribute is . . . you are an amazing and compassionate woman that anyone would be proud to call their friend . I agree with Silla soup.. I pity kathrynr for her ignorance as well. pegi.

  13. Thank you all so much for your support of me and my purpose for this tribute. As someone else pointed out and said to me in so many words, I should also be appreciative of kathrynr's comment if only because it seems to have stirred the hearts and emotions of many. And photography, or art, rather, is nothing if not "felt."

    In the absence of love, there would have been no grief at this funeral. This man was so obviously loved... and I am honored to have been there to capture these moments for his family and friends.

  14. Posting them on your company website was wrong. Don't you get it? Probably not since the mental aptitude is obviously at a minimum.

  15. This is my blog where I post all of my work.

    You are obviously a very cruel and mean-spirited person and I feel very badly for whatever has happened in your life to make you this way.

  16. Kathryn- you don't get it. This is a tribute to Tommy. Requested by the family. You are taking away from this family and something special to them by posting on here. Let them have peace with the images that they love and hold dear.

  17. My Dearest Yony and Friends,
    I first and foremost want to thank you for your unconditional love, your contagious spirit, and everlasting friendship. I am so truly grateful for these pictures as you respectfully sent to me first with my okay to post and had the willingness to put on your company web page. We are so truly honored to be remembered and have the privilege to be a part of your artistry. I am so proud of how you were able to take these photos while grieving yourself and reveal such beauty. I an so fortunate to be able to go back to these photos with my family and reflect on this "circle of life" that God has provided for us.
    Now, to you KAthryn, or however you spell your name and whomever else wants to criticize, I need to speak to you directly. And please know that I can post my telephone number for you at anytime so we can do so...My pain over the loss of my husband,for a lack of better words, indescribable. I wAke up eAch morning searching for him in our home as if he was still here. Not to mention my dear Kathryn I just lost my father five months ago. But it is like salt is poured into my wound of pain when I come across words such as yours. My advice to you, with your uneducated selfish martyring rambling. And honestly, my husband, would feel sorry for you. He would want to loft you up in prayer in remembrance of him and His Lord and Savior. That's the man he was and continues to be and would not allow someone to speak harshley to one of his friends. However, as I told Yony, through great work comes great critisism. So she will continue on with her beautiful artistry. My advice to you is to stay off of this blog, stay away from her work, and stay away from me. If you are compelled to write something more it should only be to request my phone number so this drama may stop. I want my husband to rest. I would like to rest. And I would like to admire
    My friend's work without negative babble from you.
    Yony, thank you for your tolerance, your love, and your friendship.
    Sincerely, Tommy and Paige

  18. It makes me sick that you've been put in a position where you felt you had to defend me, Paige. Love you, babe.

    Kathrynr, you must be very pleased with yourself.

  19. Holy Moly. Just saw the "mental aptitude at a minimum" comment. This from someone who recently graduated from law school? Don't they teach you prudence there, or at least to think before speaking (typing?)

    Shame, Kathryn. I'm sorry for whatever it is in your life that compels you to lash out, but put a filter on it.

    and for those who are curious, my own curiosity led me to a five minute googling session that turned up Kathryn's Linkedin and facebook profiles, that's how I know about the law school.