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It’s hard to fathom it’s been over a year and a half since my mom died. Some days it feels like years have gone by, and other days feels like it was yesterday…as if she was sitting next to me, encouraging me to pursue my dreams.


For those of you who don’t know, my mom passed away from cancer. It was a huge battle to say the least. For many of you reading this blog, you are the very ones that helped us receive the victories we did…thank you for your love, support, and prayers.


So many memories flood my mind as I’m here…remembering her birthday.


Many people ask me if I ever question why she died. I think you’re not human if you don’t ask this question. But in the end I will always come back to the truth of God’s amazing love and grace.

-Do I ever wish my mom was still alive? Who doesn’t?

-Do I miss her Godly wisdom and timely insight? I don’t think the word yes can fully express my answer.

-Do I miss the times when she’d make me feel like I could conquer any dream or mountain? More than I can describe.

-Do I ever wish she could have stayed with my family and experience this beautiful Korean culture with me? Yes


Does this ever change the way I feel about God’s love and healing power He’s shown in my life, my mom’s and so many others? NO!


Even though I miss my mom desperately and wish she was still alive, that will never change my belief about God’s goodness. I will never blame or question His power!


As I was reading over one of the e-mail updates she sent out during her battle, I was so encouraged by her faith…

“Someone told Tanya that if I died, that person would never believe in God again. And I challenge that person, would you have believed in God, even if I did live? Who can fathom the understanding of God? Your faith is not determined on what God does, but on who He is. We are not God, we cannot question His ways, but be assured that He does love us. And we can’t understand everything that happens in this life. Sometimes there are no answers. That is where we have to have trust and faith. I trust God and I have faith in Him, and I WILL NOT move from that position.”


For those of you who may be struggling with sickness or terminal diseases, I encourage you to not lose hope. When everything seems to be falling apart around you, remember to cling on to the one who gives life and truth.


I just want to share with you a few images from my art project while this was going on. I was required to photograph images that were relevant and impacting in my life. Sense I couldn’t really avoid this situation, I thought I would make the best of it and capture the miracle of what God was doing.

It’s been amazing to see how these photographs have impacted so many through this journey. I’m honored to have them displayed in the cancer research center in my hometown. I hope these images will encourage you just as much as they’ve encouraged me, my family and so many others.


This first image is of my mom during her first rough 3 weeks in the hospital.  I wanted to capture all the IVs she’s hooked up along with all the medication and chemo.  I put the red heartbeat in the picture to emphasis that there is still a sign of life amongst death and despair. Even though everything around you may say death, she still holds on to the promise of God.



This next photo is the effects of chemotherapy (thinning of hair).  I didn’t want to show any faces, but I wanted to show the emotions and feelings through the hands.

Even during all the horrible effects of chemo, my mom still stayed strong and continued to fight and trust God. (It’s more of an artistic style. If you know the different art genres, it’s Cubism:))



This next photograph is of my family’s hands praying.  This image explains that even if everything seems to be falling apart around us, we are still connected and united as a family. One of us may be sick and may seem out of the circle, yet we are still one in heart and spirit.

We may be going through trials, but we continue to put our hope and trust in God-which is the only thing that is getting us through. This image demonstrates when we go through difficult times, we can call out to God and He will hear our every need.


This last picture is one of my mom and dad’s hands coming together to join as one. The highlighted rings symbolize the power and love of marriage (“in sickness and in health”).  The dove above represents that God has my mom under His wings. That no matter what happens, God will always protect and guard my mom.


My beloved family. The bond of unity and love between us can never be shaken no matter what circumstance that happens. The one thing that’s gotten me through every struggle and hardship in my life. Who’s always there for me loving and encouraging me when I’m painfully stubborn in my ways and unlovable.

My life-giver. My strength. My everything.

And kick me in the butt when I need it!

Image before my mom got cancer. Credit goes to Photo Magic (before my photography days:))


My family after my mom pasted…I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Showing us looking forward into the path that He has for us linked arm in arm.


An image of my beautiful mother. I can honestly say we are who we are because of her and the legacy she instilled in us.

I love and miss you mom!

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June 3, 2010 - 9:33 pm

Jozeca - If I was sitting in a room by myself, I’d be crying, for sure… but there are other people around so I’m holding back.

Thanks for sharing this. What a blessing to see your faith.

Love you my dear!

June 5, 2010 - 9:25 am

Nolan - Beautifully written and illustrated. Thanks Tanya for depth, emotion, truth, and faith.

June 23, 2010 - 7:47 am

Mya - Tanya,

I tear up everytime you write these beautiful words of your Mom and our God. She is so very proud of you, and she IS with you on this journey.

August 7, 2010 - 5:11 am

Tanya)* - Tanya there are so good photos…and I find photo that has my lovely teachers from English vilage, Korea- Seoul)*…Love:*

August 21, 2010 - 6:48 am

Dyanne - Beautiful. You and your family. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing these photos.

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