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A Celebration Of A Mom's Love, This Father-Daughter Photo Series Will Rip Your Heart Apart

Posted by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 2:48 AM
  • 8 Replies
1 mom liked this

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A Celebration Of A Mom's Love, This Father-Daughter Photo Series Will Rip Your Heart Apart

Old wedding photographs are helping one Ohio dad bridge the gap between a beautiful though bittersweet past and a hopeful future full of new memories and adventures.

In 2009, newlyweds Ben and Ali Nunery -- dressed in their finest wedding regalia -- posed in their new, as-yet unfurnished home in Cincinnati, Ohio, for wedding album photos. Ben's new sister-in-law, Melanie Pace, a professional photographer, snapped a series of gorgeous pictures of the young couple. "Those images represent some of the happiest moments in my life," Ben wrote on his blog. "It was the beginning of what we planned on being a long and happy life together."

Sadly, however, this wasn't to be. The couple was soon informed that Ali had a rare form of lung cancer. In 2011, just a year after their daughter, Olivia, was born, the young mom -- then just 31 -- passed away. As Ben grieved, he continued living with Olivia in the house that he had shared with Ali -- a house that he said "felt like the last vestige of the life" that they had "set out to build together."

But this year, Ben says he is finally ready to say goodbye to that house, one so full of memories -- both sad and sweet. He knew, however, that he and Olivia couldn't just move out without marking the occasion in some way. So he called his sister-in-law again, in the hopes that she would help him recreate the photographs he once took with Ali. This time, he would pose with 3-year-old Olivia, the other love of his life.

"I was just really looking for a way to say farewell to the house, and have some things that Olivia and I can have to ... remember [it by]," Ben told TODAY.com.

(Story continues below photos.)

  • Melanie Pace
  • Melanie Pace
  • Melanie Pace
  • Melanie Pace
  • Melanie Pace
  • Melanie Pace
  • Melanie Pace

"I did it for me. I did it for us," Ben wrote on his blog of the photo series. "I did it so I would have something to show for the love and beauty that occupied that house for a short time in our lives."

"Olivia and I will be able to look at these photos and know that for a short time there was a place where I was the luckiest man in the world, even if just for a little while," he added.

Ultimately, he says, the photos aren't about grief or dwelling in the past, but are a celebration of the great, enduring love he has for both Ali and Olivia.

"I always thought that there had to be some way to turn my loss into something positive and useful for other people and I think that this is what's happening now," Ben told Yahoo Shine. "I don't want people to see these photos and think sadness and grief. I want them to see the love I have for Ali and Olivia. The love is always there and that's what goes on."

by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 2:48 AM
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Replies (1-8):
ashellbell
by shellbark on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:24 AM
2 moms liked this
Stupid ninjas chopping onions in here
SuperChicken
by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Ohhh, so sad :(   

Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:29 AM
Jerks! Now I can't see my phone screen clearly :(

Quoting ashellbell: Stupid ninjas chopping onions in here
babyspots17
by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM

This just breaks my heart and brings me to tears each time I look at it. 

ashellbell
by shellbark on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM
1 mom liked this
They ALWAYS show up at the worst times!

Quoting Luvnlogic: Jerks! Now I can't see my phone screen clearly :(



Quoting ashellbell: Stupid ninjas chopping onions in here
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

 :)

codfish
by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 10:15 AM
This is so sad and so beautiful.

What an amazing gift for his daughter.

I lost my dad very young so I know how much this will mean to their child.
fireangel5
by Gold Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Oh man that was beautiful!! Made me cry. 

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