Jaylen is back in hospital, at the time of writing he has been in for a week.Since I came home from Mexico I haven't spent as much time with Katie as I usually do. I've had work and she's been so busy building her life at home with Jaylen. She joined a gym and is looking at going back to finish her studies. Over the last few weeks she has sounded fantastic on the phone- slowly coming to terms with what has happened to her over the past few years but also allowing herself to be excited that life might be normal. We were heading out for coffee last week when she texted saying Jaylen had been throwing up and she was taking him straight into the hospital. By the time I got to see them on Wednesday Jaylen had lost a kilo and although was still his vibrant self I could see how stressed Katie was. Immediately all the fears about spending another 2 years in the hospital came back and she was on edge. I could only stay an hour between jobs and only had my 50mm lens on (I usually shoot with a 24mm) but spent more time talking than photographing. Katie told me that these things will happen, she's accepted it and then proceeded to tell me about all the kids in the ward she was worried didn't have parents visiting. This is the thing that is so remarkable about Katie- her son is in hospital which brings with it extra implications given his history yet she deals with it with grace and wisdom and even finds a way to worry about other children.
Someone told me I need to " lay off the sad stuff" with my photography recently but to me Katie is an example of how strong and beautiful people can be, not how cruel life is. Being around her and the other long term stories I have worked on actually makes it easier for me to understand the world rather than question it.