'Take the photos, while you have time': mum's message after husband's death

Cath Hughes' only photo with her husband and children.
Cath Hughes' only photo with her husband and children. Photo: Facebook/Words in Wonderland

After discovering that the only family picture she had with her late husband and three kids was blurry and out of focus, a mum is now urging families to "take the photos" while they still have the time.

"Friends, I need to rant about photos," Cath Hughes, 36, wrote in a Facebook post last week. "This is the only photo we have of the five of us. Literally the only one.

"And it's so out of focus that we're practically unrecognisable."

Mum to Lacey, 7, Finn, 5, and Willow, 4, Ms Hughes shared that she'd been meaning to organise family photos for some time, but kept putting it off because, "we though we had time".

Tragically, however, they didn't have time. Ms Hughes' husband, Bazz, was diagnosed with stage four oesophageal cancer in December 2014. Given 6 to 18 months to live, he died just six weeks later in January 2015, at the age of 35.

"He got sick," Ms Hughes wrote of her husband. "Then, when I realised we really didn't have time, I booked a family shoot with our regular (and wonderful) photographer."

But they never made the appointment.

"Bazz deteriorated rapidly and he died the day we were supposed to have them taken," Ms Hughes wrote. "We didn't have time."

"But you do. You have time."

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In a heartfelt plea, Ms Hughes urged others not to delay having their family pictures taken. "You're not too fat. Your wardrobe is lovely. Your hair is perfect just how it is.

"You're actually not too busy. You don't need to wait until your middle child's toothless smile is corrected by time, or your youngest self-cut fringe has grown out, or your oldest is out of that cast."

The perfect time is now, she continued.

"Now, before it changes ... You are all perfect as you are."

Sharing that she has sobbed over "this one photo", Ms Hughes reiterated that she thought they had time.

"Learn from me and have the bloody photos taken," she wrote, adding that it's as simple as finding a professional you like the look of and booking in a family session.

"I wish so desperately that we did," she added.

"I thought we had time."

Ms Hughes' poignant words, her reminder to cherish and document the present, have resonated with others, many thanking her for giving them the push they needed.
"You just made me cry," one mum wrote."This is me, I feel too fat for family photos and I'm never in them, my hubby constantly complains he never has any pics of me. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE, I NEED TO CHANGE! Thank you for the big slap of reality that tomorrow could be too late."
"It's not until they're no longer living with us, do you realise every opportunity is actually a special occasion," another commenter wrote, sharing a photo of her late sister.
In recent months, several bloggers have reminded dads, in particular, to "take the photo", of the women in their lives. "Dear Men, take the photo. Take the god damn photo," blogger Sophie Cachia implored just weeks ago.
Ms Hughes' post, however, is a beautiful reminder that it's not just important to document the special moments with our loved ones from behind the lens, but that we need to jump in front of it, too.
Together. While we have the time.

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