BEAUTY IN STRENGTH: THIS MOM REBUILT HER LIFE AFTER 9/11

BEAUTY IN STRENGTH: THIS MOM REBUILT HER LIFE AFTER 9/11

 Photo by Cate Scaglione  of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa  | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Every year around the 9/11, I go a little dark on social media when it comes to my boudoir business.

I pause business for reverence, for honor --and in many ways, for my own healing in the reflection. So it seems to me, odd to post something like beauty and boudoir images around this time. Especially, when I am personally overwhelmed with dark memories myself.

That changed a bit when I met this woman.

 Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Every year on 9/11, I will try to share a reflection or thought about what the day brings. But it was those same exact shared thoughts that connected us, and now I feel blessed by that.

Glenna became my boudoir client because she read my story and reached out to me to tell me she too, was affected by 9/11. She wanted to be photographed and feel uplifted and insisted that I capture her. (And if you know Glenna, you knowwww she insisted! HAHAHA).

 Photo by Cate Scaglione  of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa  | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

When Glenna's youngest daughter was six months old, her husband died on 9/11 in the World Trade Center. She was left with three beautiful daughters, even after her many years of infertility treatments.

But this is not a story of sadness or loss -- this is a story of strength and survival. And the BEAUTY that is seen in STRENGTH.

 Photo by Cate Scaglione  of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa  | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

"In 52 years you go through a lot of life," she told me, "the only thing I learned is that there is NOTHING I CAN'T do." 

It is this sense of her bold force I wished to capture in her session. She has been through many transformations over these years, and this session was to honor that. 

From her fierce eyes, right down to her glamorous red gown  -- what you see in a woman like Glenna is a phoenix. It is NOT about hiding or fading into the background, but living one's own life out loud -- and in color.

 Photo by Cate Scaglione  of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa  | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

She has rebuilt a life from the ashes, by giving to others in her work; and by beautifying life as an artist herself (she is an accomplished NJ family photographer). She has raised her three beautiful daughters; who are both a legacy AND too stunning to even gaze upon. This statement is too true for words.

I asked Glenna what advice she'd give to younger women, like her daughters, as she was being featured in my DECADES book to be published. "I wish I could tell younger women or my younger self that it doesn't matter what people think about you. It only matters what you think of your SELF."

So I decided not to go dark - but to go colorful today. Today's post is a celebration of Glenna. And, for women like Glenna... who show us the power of their feminine spirit.

 Photo by Cate Scaglione  of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa | Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

Photo by Cate Scaglione of Life As Fine Art Studio + Spa| Hair and Makeup by Toni Messina

She did this session for herself. She wanted to feel beautiful and celebrate her accomplishments. She has rebuilt a beautiful, happy life that is a fortress.

Women like her show us that women, mothers, partners -- can thrive and persist no matter what life throws their way. And in a difficult time as this week is, we remember not just those lost, but celebrate (IN EVERY WAY) the beauty and courage of those who survived it. RESPECT and ADMIRATION for a woman like this -- living her life as fine art.

Thank you Glenna for sharing your story. You are all BEAUTIFUL things, Mama.

Love and Gratitude, 
Cate

 

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BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO YOU

BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO YOU