“Some things will always remain a mystery at this level of consciousness, and it is right that they should. So, do not try to solve all the mysteries. Give the universe a chance. It will unfold itself, in due course. Enjoy the experience of becoming.”
~Neale Donald Walsch
Posted May 27, 2014
Photos Courtesy of Scantling Photography
(Rylie age 3, Rheann age 6, Ainsley Jane age 4)
I’d like to ask a question of anyone who opens this page and reads this story….What inspires you?
The quote above not only refers to Lora’s own two special needs daughters, but to the many children she has photographed over the years. As a photographer and mother myself, I understand what inspired Lora to give the world a glimpse of what some children, unfortunately, go though. Lora has captured an inspired image of the humanity, inner strength, and beauty of these three brave girls.
I met Lora Scantling after seeing this beautiful and touching photograph on social media and was so taken by the image I contacted her immediately. These enchanting portraits express the special bond between three little girls with one common denominator – a diagnosis of cancer.
Lora’s vision for the portrait arose from life experiences. At the time we met she shared that her step-father was battling lung cancer and on May 14, 2014, he lost his battle, yet, it was a good friend’s loss of her one year old son to leukemia that really touched her heart.
Lora’s love of photography began in grade school and she would often take portraits of her stuffed animals with a disposable camera. Today, Lora is the owner of Scantling Photography Studio in Bethany, Oklahoma and has clients who travel from as far away as Texas, California, and New York.
Several months before the actual photo shoot, Lora envisioned this project and began searching for children affected by cancer. She and Christy Goodger, owner of Goodger Photography, who shares her studio space, began looking for appropriate subjects. Lora then partnered with two local boutiques, Penelope’s and PJ’s, who donated the clothing. The result was an endearing and classic work of art which has been seen by millions around the globe.
“The rapport between the girls was immediate,” said Scantling, “it was remarkable the bond between them.”
Rylie, age 3, is a fun loving, active little girl who is never caught without a smile on her face. Her parents, Kevin and Bridget Hughey, are both active members within their community. Bridget is a teacher, and Kevin, a Police Officer. Rylie is the youngest child in the Hughey household and was diagnosed with stage 5 bilateral Wilms tumors at the age of 2. Since the diagnosis Rylie has been receiving on going chemo treatment, and has already successfully recovered from one surgery. Rylie continues her fight against cancer and is still receiving her chemo treatments. The loss of hair and the daily rounds of medication haven’t slowed this child down yet! See more…
Good news – on April 15, 2014, Rylie’s CT scan was negative for cancer but the family asks everyone to keep praying!
Rheann, age 6, was first diagnosed on October 10, 2012 with Non-Metastatic Undifferentiated Sarcoma of the brain. The tumor was originally on the right side of the brain. They found more tumors in February, 2013 which caused her to have to have another brain surgery. The biopsy of the tumor showed that it had changed and it had the potential to spread. They redefined her as Mucoid Spindle Sarcoma of the brain. Since then the cancer has spread and she is now metastatic. Rheann has 5 brain surgeries, 1 surgery to place the port, numerous rounds of chemo and 50 days of full brain and spine radiation. – See more and to make a donation.
Rheann loves to play with her sisters. She loves the Disney Princesses and Hello Kitty. Rheann is a good student and really enjoys school.
Ainsley Jane Maciula Peters was diagnosed with Leukemia on August 11, 2013. She was in a medically induced coma for over ten days. She has come a long way since then. She has had to re-learn everything and has done so bravely. On April 16, 2015 Ainsley began her maintenance phase of treatment, which will last two years, on April 16, 2014. The family asks you to pray, and join them in cheering on Ainsley Jane during her treatment for precursor B A. L. L. More info on www.TeamPeters.net.
Lora Scantling’s goal with the memories project is to raise awareness of childhood cancer and create a memorable experience for not only the children, but their families as well. She is now working with a local cancer foundation on more photography projects that will be completed by the end of summer 2014.
Speaking to Lora Scantling takes me back home to the quiet Southern charm of small town people. Lora insisted this story not be about her but about the girls and the increasing incidence of childhood cancer.
Visit and please LIKE these beautiful girls’ Facebook pages:
Lora wanted to extend special thanks to Goodger photography, Penelope’s and PJ’s boutiques, News 9, Fox stations, Channel 5, The Today Show, and all the other news stations, newspapers, websites, etc who shared the girls stories!
To purchase a copy of the ‘three little fighters’ please visit the link below.
Contact OU Physicians
****UPDATE (May 2014) Lora posted an update at www.scantlingphotography.com “I am happy to report that all 3 girls have either beaten their cancer or are in remission (with continued maintenance treatments) How amazing is that!!! Now that is the power of prayer!!!” ****
The Power of His Love
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~Corinthians 13: 4-13
“As long as you remember the person who loved you, and whom you still love, then you’re making love endure.”
What is love? What does it mean to you?
When I was a little girl I remember seeing my parents tease one another while putting up the groceries. My dad would never tire of slipping something cold beneath the tail of my mom’s shirt or under the band of her capris, and she would jump and squeal and they would laugh. I saw my parents dance in the kitchen, their bodies a perfect fit even as they aged. My mom would rub my dad’s feet while they watched television the nights they were home together because they worked opposite shifts. Later in life I saw my mother take care of my dad as his health began to fail. Funny, I don’t remember ever hearing them fight or even say a cross word. My father adored my mom, and every day he showed her in little ways, one of which was to pick up a pretty rock or a wildflower on his way to or from work, which was the time he also said his prayers. When he returned home he would place the token where she would have her “morning” coffee before she went off to work the night shift at Warner Brown Hospital. My mother would leave my dad little love notes signed each time with ‘ILY’ – I LOVE YOU.
Recently, on the news, I read about a man, Melvyn Amrine, who loves to give his wife flowers and it prompted me to want to know more. They happened to live in my home state of Arkansas, so already I felt a bond. I found their number and called. I was surprised when a very pleasant, robust, deep voice answered the phone and spoke quite lucidly with me, because I knew this man who loves flowers and loves his wife with all his heart has Alzheimer’s. I asked if I had the right number and the right person, and he chuckled and said indeed I did. Melvyn seemed amused when I explained I wanted to interview them because of the recent story in the news, and, as I began speaking he interrupted and said, “You should talk to my wife.” That was my first inkling anything was amiss.
His wife, Doris, was amiable and I went into detail about who I was and my background in order to set her at ease and we simply had a conversation.
I told her I wanted to hear more about the day her husband took off on foot in poor health and managed to walk over two miles with a pacemaker to buy her flowers. She basically repeated what I’d already read, of not finding him in the house, having her prayer group in attendance and asking them to sing and pray for his safe return, calling family to help, and enlisting the help of police. Melvyn was located quickly and Doris got a call that he’d been found. She admitted feeling relieved and frustrated at the same time because she tells him all the time not to wander away.
Doris commended the four Little Rock police officers, the intake officers and the two who gave Melvyn a ride home and helped not only find her husband but helped him find the flowers he was so desperately seeking to present to his beloved wife for Mother’s Day. Doris stressed how kind they had all been, remarked about their exceptional professionalism, and that they did not cause Melvyn to be afraid or alarm him in any way.
Little Rock Police Officers Brian Gribsby and Troy Dillard
Later she learned the officers had helped him with his task of purchasing flowers for her, going first to Home Depot which didn’t suit Melvyn because he wanted cut flowers, then to Kroger to find the perfect bouquet of white roses. Doris was extremely touched by their kindness, but even more so when she saw on the CBS news footage that one of the officers had quietly and kindly slipped the clerk at Kroger the money to cover the cost of the flowers because Melvyn had been short, and Doris expressed her deep gratitude that they had helped him maintain his dignity.
Doris described seeing the prodigal husband upon his return, accompanied by his protectors, the two LRPD officers and concluded the details of the account with, “When he gave me those flowers, white roses with pink tinged edges, I could see the love in his heart.”
“White roses are traditionally associated with marriages and new beginnings, but their quiet beauty has also made them a gesture of remembrance. When the occasion calls for reverence, whether stately or somber, a bouquet of white rose is a perfect way to say, “I’m thinking of you.”” http://www.proflowers.com/blog/rose-colors-and-meanings
I paused, smiling, imagining what it would be like to have that kind of lasting love.
Doris Amrine, a Japanese American, was born, Doris Hanako Wakamoto, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. For those of you who don’t speak Japanese, Hanako means “Flower Child.” Doris grew up in Honolulu, and after high school moved to Chicago, Illinois. She received her nurses training at Michael Reese Hospital and attended the University of Illinois where she met Melvyn Amrine. He was studying floraculture, the science of flower farming.
Both Doris and Melvyn, or “Mel” as everyone called him, were very involved in the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Doris was the missionary chairman and Mel was the Bible study chairman. Doris said they didn’t have time for dating, and other than their involvement in the Christian Fellowship only went on one “date”, a formal dinner held every year at the Allerton Estate for the members of the Christian Fellowship.
Upon graduation, Doris returned to Chicago to attend Moody Bible School with the intention of becoming a missionary. Melvyn entered the Air Force as an officer. While Doris was in Chicago, Melvyn contacted her and asked her to travel to Waterloo, Illinois to meet his parents, and then to Kauai where he asked her parents for her hand in marriage.
Doris Hanako Wakamoto and Melvyn Charles Amrine were married June 25, 1955.
Melvyn’s time in the military occurred at the close of the Korean War, but the call to the ministry remained strong. After an honorable discharge from the Air Force, Melvyn and Doris moved to Waco, Texas to be trained in the ministry, then were sent by Grace Gospel Church to start a church in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Eventually they moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Doris worked as a RN. She also taught clinical nursing at the University of Central Arkansas. Melvyn, then called, Brother Mel, continued to pastor for almost 40 years and he and Doris raised four children. Three years ago, with memory failing, Melvyn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, yet they continued to have Bible studies and prayer meetings in their home as they have done for many years. Their prayers include intercessions for our government, other pastors, schools, Israel, the Middle East and recently the kidnapped Nigerian victims and victims of yet another mass shooting. Doris believes, as do other Christians, that people who enact violence and evil do not know God’s love which surpasses all else, and quotes John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
Doris speaks with admiration of her husband and credits God with using the police to help bring Melvyn safely home, saying, “I give God all the Glory.”
Doris remembers that during the 60’s when some churches were shunning “hippies” or “flower children” as they were called, Brother Mel welcomed them with open arms, once again proving his love of “flowers”. Doris smiled as she told me that many of those young “flower children”, men and women alike, were also called to dedicate their lives in God’s service as pastors and missionaries.
So, perhaps in the big scheme of the universe, in God’s plan, this kind and gentle soul, Melvyn Amrine was always meant to cultivate and love not only his beloved wife and “flower child” Hanako, but all God’s many flowers.
Memorial Day, May 26, 2014
The Art of Marriage
I believe this says it all… (Hallelujah by Fr. Ray Kelly)
The Art of Marriage
Wilferd A. Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
Human Trafficking: Modern Day Shame
June 29, 2014
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.”
Growing numbers of refugees, particularly women and children, crossing US borders, primarily in South Texas are bringing disturbing but much needed publicity to an ever increasing problem other than illegal immigration.
The US has the dubious distinction of being the number one producer of child pornography in the world, but this is a much more complicated problem. John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, states, “The volume of case files with regard to child porn has grown from 450,000 in 2004 to over 17 million in 2011.”
Not only are these statistics alarming, but according to Dr. Michael Seto, author, forensic psychologist, and scientific advisor for Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, “the age of children being victimized is becoming younger and younger and it is more likely that individuals possessing child pornography have not only child pornography, but pornography with violent themes.”
James Dinkens, Executive Associate Director ICE Homeland Security Investigations says pedophiles have a craving for child pornography; they want more and want to share it with other people and create international and global networks of pedophiles sharing images of the people they abuse.
Many of these networks are not only trafficking in internet pornography, they are moving human beings for money. They no longer work the streets to exploit children; as high as 70% of child sex trafficking victims are sold online.
The business of human trafficking is estimated to generate $9.5 Billion per year in the US alone and is said to be the second largest criminal activity in the world.
Types of trafficking generally fall into one of two categories.
Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years (Trafficking Victims Protection Act)
Labor Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery. (Trafficking Victims Protection Act)
HUMAN TRAFFICKING FACTS
Texas is considered the hub for human trafficking in the United States. Among states, Texas ranks second with a total of 436 cases, keeping in mind each case may deal with hundreds of individuals per case. Only California had more calls in 2013, according to the FBI statistics.
Houston ranks number 1 among U.S. cities thought to have the most victims of human trafficking. The rank comes from new numbers released on the total calls made to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center tip line, yet the instances of human trafficking are considered by the FBI to be grossly under reported. The I-10 corridor, spanning the Greater Houston area, is the most heavily traveled thoroughfare for traffickers and victims of international human trafficking. Last year, 144 trafficking cases were reported in Houston.
Record numbers of women and children, most from Central America are crossing US borders every day. Many are brought into the country by people called “coyotes” who charge on the average $5000 per person.
In early June 2014, at a press conference at Houston’s City Hall, the FBI, along with local and state law enforcement agencies and many elected officials kicked off a new campaign against human trafficking. Billboards and public service campaigns will be used to raise awareness about human trafficking. Some of the public service ads will appear in Houston-area Yellow Cabs, Metro buses and shopping malls. They will also appear on Spanish-language TV and radio.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING STATISTICS
One quarter of rescued victims are rescued in the state of Texas
It is estimated that less than 1% of worldwide victims are extricated from trafficking
62% of “Labor Trafficking” victims are reported to be over the age of 25, compared to 13% of “Sex Trafficking” victims
Four fifths of victims (83%) in confirmed “Sex Trafficking” incidents are US born citizens
95% of “Labor Trafficking” victims are non-US born undocumented or qualified aliens
An estimated one out of every three children that run away is lured into sex trafficking within 48 hours of leaving home.
The average age of entry into sex trafficking is between 12 and 13 years old.
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS TO PREVENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN HOUSTON
Understand the different forms of trafficking: labor & sex trafficking
Learn visible indicators of businesses forcing the labor of trafficking victims and the characteristics of trafficking victims. Indicators may include:
Businesses where employees live in the same place they work
Heavy security of a commercial establishment
Indications that a building may house a brothel
Victims that are kept under surveillance when taken to a doctor, hospital or clinic
Victims that do not carry identification or travel documents
Report suspicious activity to authorities.
Anyone with information on human trafficking can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.
The FBI also unveiled a list of Texas’ Most Wanted Human Traffickers. A reward up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to their arrest.
Alfonso Diaz-Juarez, aka Poncho, aka El Greas, a 45-year-old Mexican national, is wanted for alleged sex-trafficking violations. Investigators believe Diaz-Juarez may be in the Houston area, or traveling between Texas and Mexico.
FBI agents say Diaz-Juarez is a pimp who locked women and girls in rooms in Houston and also forced them to have sex.
Roger Galindo-Sepeda, a 40-year-old Honduran national, and Maria Isabel Cruz, a 46-year-old Honduran national, are wanted for allegedly promising at least 30 women and girls they would have a better life in Texas. Prosecutors say they then forced the women and girls into the sex trade.
Investigators believe they may be in the Dallas area, or traveling between Texas and Honduras.
If you have information about these fugitives call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or the Crime Stoppers tip-line at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
The Mystical Music of Gnaoua (Gnawa)
Music is a world within itself, it is a language we all understand.
The African roots of Gnaoua music date back over 1000 years and played a role in spiritual ceremonies in which the low toned rhythmic melodies were thought to evoke ancestral spirits who were able to drive out evil spirits and cure ills.
Today, Gnaoua music combines the ancient traditional sounds of drums, castanets known as krakeb or karkabou, and a three stringed bass lute called a guembri with modern instruments such as guitars, saxophone, and piano for a sound that is soulful, complex in its rifts and and very much like modern jazz.
Many well-known Western musicians such as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have incorporated the traditional sounds of Gnaoua music into their recordings and have collaborated with Gnaoua musicians so that Gnaoua has become a more global genre and not isolated to African countries. In the 60’s and 70’s many musicians, including Cat Stevens, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage to Essaouria which was the subject of Hendrix song, “Castles Made of Sand”.
Kif Samba whose name means “joy and rhythm” is one of the up and coming Gnaoua musical ensembles. Their music is a mix of Gnaoua and jazz fusion, reggae, blues, funk and rock, blending old and new. The band began playing in markets and cafes but has over the last few years found local and international fame. Kif Samba hails from Essaouira in the south of Morocco where the Gnaoua World Music Festival is held annually and is now in its 17th year. The festival has become a popular destination for music lovers worldwide, and has been called the Moroccan version of Woodstock. The 2014 sold out festival will be held from August 11-13, and during festival week this quaint, picturesque Atlantic coastal town of about 60,000 welcomes 500,000 to their sandy beaches, eclectic shopping, tantalizing restaurants, and exotic night life.
Lead vocalist for Kif Samba is Said Amachir. His love of music began as a boy growing up in the coastal town of Essaouira and at 21 he began playing the guembri. Kif Samba was formed in 2008 and consists of 7 members: Otmane Tabbaa (piano), Yacin Ben Ali (percussion), Florian Camboulives (saxophone), Ismali Gaz (drums), Yassine Eljari (guitar), and Amin Alouka (karkabou).
Contact Susanna Sisson for appearances in USA 1+ (832) 297 – 5921