MMP Gives Back Contest Winners – Rachael + Rudy
Normal. A word which means confirming to a standard; typical; commonplace. When you think of the traditional family, you picture a loving mom and dad, a brother and sister, and maybe even grandma and grandpa. If one had to define a normal family, that’s probably what comes to mind…though I can’t think of anyone who can say with a degree of certainty that they had a “normal” childhood. This certainly holds true for Rachael. She grew up in an extremely broken home, where her mother physically and verbally abused her as soon as she started crawling. Her mother and father fought day in and day out, and after a series of lies told by her mother, at the age of 7, Rachael‘s father, Rudy, would be forced to walk out of Rachael‘s life forever.
All the while, Rachael‘s mother continued to abuse her, until finally, she had enough, and set out to be the victor–not the victim.
Fast forward to today, Rachael, now 21, is still dealing with the repercussions of her mother’s actions, the most recent being identity theft. She had severe depression, and finally decided to reach out to her father. Now, 14 years later, Rachael has been reunited with Rudy. Every Thursday is “Dad/Daughter Day.” They have enjoyed getting to know each other, and noticing how very similar they are in looks and personality, despite their separation.
Rachael was browsing Facebook, and noticed Melissa’s post about wanting to give back to her community and supporters by providing a free mini shoot. Having worked with Melissa in the past, and with Father’s Day just around the corner, she thought it would be a wonderful gift to have some portraits captured of the two of them. (And Rudy just so happened to say what a good idea it would be to go to a studio and have pictures taken).
(from Rachael) Despite everything one goes through, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be hard to see, but it’s there if you set your heart on finding it. Thank you, Melissa, for being part of that light. Your beautiful photos truly capture the love between a father and daughter. Thank you again for sharing your gifts, time, and talent with us in preserving a memory that will forever be fond in my dad’s heart, and mine.