Rashmi Pappu » Photographer

Letter to her sons | Alexandria, VA family photographer

Dianne is an inspiration, pure and simple. You might remember her photographs from a couple of years ago.  Dianne emailed me a couple of weeks back to say that the cancer is back again. The diagnosis is not good at all but Dianne is a fighter and is going to fight this with all the strength she has, most especially for her boys, Bryce (9) and Aidan (5). I was honoured to take their photos again last week at Dianne’s request, while she was still ‘happy & healthy’ as she said.

Here is Dianne in her own words to her two darling boys.

Bryce & Aidan,

Don’t write you name in the sand, waves will wash them away. Don’t write your name in the sky, wind
may blow them away. Write your name in the hearts of people you come in touch with. That’s where it
will stay. If I have done anything in my life I hope my name is forever in each of your hearts and if it is I
know I have done my job.

You two are the most caring and sweetest little boys I could have ever asked for. Even though at times
you two really push my buttons and at times make me wonder if I am doing a good job raising you. At
the end of the night, every night I think about what has gone on throughout the day and if it has been
one of those crazy days. I know that you two are still kids and there are going to be tough days as a
parent. Luckily, I have been pretty blessed because both of you are good kids. Honestly if both of you
were perfect all the time I think I would be bored with you two, but there is never a dull moment and it
keeps life interesting.

I wish I could say that life will get easier as you grow up, but it doesn’t. I wish I could tell you everything
will be fine and that picture you have in your head right now of what your life will be like as a grown-up
will come true, but I cannot promise you that either. However, I want the both of you to work as hard as
possible to make those pictures become your life! There are going to be times that are hard, and lessons
in life that you will have to learn on your own. Just remember when life seems like it is getting tough
never give up! There is something to learn from the tough spot you are going through, it might not seem
like it at the time but after it is all said and done you can look back and see what it has taught you.

I never would have thought I would be sitting here with the two of you wondering how much longer I
truly have left to live. After being told the cancer has returned 2 ½ years later and it is at an incurable
point at stage 4, I did not view it as a death sentence. Instead I am going to fight this awful disease for
many many years with all my Irish stubbornness that I have so I can be here for the two of you for as
long as possible. I have said it before and I will say it again the treatments, surgeries, and recoveries do
not scare me, but leaving the two of you too soon scares the crap out of me. You two are my world and
I will continue to do my best to be the best mommy you two could ever have. And I am going to give this
my all to fight this awful cancer for as long as possible to be here for the two of you!

I have learned this throughout my life and I am still learning something every day. I know it will take
time and both of you will have to go through struggles to learn this as well but I hope as you get older
you both learn there comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who
create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the
good! So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too
short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of LIFE… Getting back up is LIVING… have a great

LIVE your life to its fullest every day, LOVE like you have never been hurt, SING like no one is listening,
and DANCE like no one is watching! Life is too short to be bored so if I have taught you anything I hope
it is to have fun with life, and if you are not happy change it so you are!! I love you two more than
anything in this world and that will NEVER change!! I love the both of you soo soo much, forever and ever, to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond!!




I am a professional photographer based in Old Town Alexandria. My studio is on 210 N. Lee St. Alexandria VA 22314. I specialize in baby, children and family photography.

  • Ruth Ann Frazier - Dianne, You are a wonderful Mom and your boys are so fortunate to have you. Even when you go to be with our Father you will be able to watch over them and love them as you do today. You are so very brave and so much of your strength is coming from the fact that you are spending your time searching for ways to spend with your children rather than feeling sorry for yourself. You are leaving them with an awesome letter, fantastic pictures and love in their hearts that no one can ever take away or replace. God bless you, you are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Becky Reeme - Wow, Diane, what a powerful letter to your sons. Your boys are very lucky to have you as their mother. You are such an inspiration to all of us fighting the BIG “C”. I am truly honored to know such a wonderful person and you will always remain loved in the heart of every person you come in touch with to include your family. God Bless and thank you.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *