A FINAL FAIRWELL TO ELANA KRYSHKA
It was 2014, I received a call from a friend telling me that they, in fact, had a couple that needed a photographer for their wedding. Their wedding was coming up I want to say within two weeks and their original hired photographer was unable to photograph in their location.
This was the very start of me meeting Elana and Jason Kryshka. I met Elana and Jason in Delray Beach, On Atlantic Ave in front of the Starbucks. Elana, Stunning (smaller framed Woman,) Jason, Handsom young man, great smile and full of love towards his bride to be. I was like yes we are going to have amazing images! As I got to talk and know them both, Jason, a Web tech guy and Elana, well this small frame badass was the Loss Prevention Manager for Victoria Secrets. Yes! I know that your thinking, because I was the same, “Like the Bra Company Victoria Secret” I said? I never realized you woman steal that many bras. Elana told me stories, showed me scars, Jason laughed as hard as you could at hearing such funny and crazy moments. We connected and sure as life is, I was their wedding photographer. Not only that. Later on, I would be their life photographer.
Shortly after their amazing wedding, We learned that Elana was diagnosed with a very aggressive and strong cancer. I could never imagine such an amazing young couple could be given such a monster of a mountain to overcome. But Family and love are very strong. And JASON, my g-d a man I have never seen so much in love with his bride, head over heels, as a lover, as a friend and the man to hold her hand through fire, and hell and back. These two people are the definition of love and the pursuit of why you marry. Over the years Jason and Elana brought awareness, Fundme campaigns, did everything physically possible and beyond for the quality of life, and their love. Experimental treatments, Day in day out treatments, It was never-ending. 50-100 mile bike races to raise funds for more treatments. The more I saw his and Elana Social Media Feeds the lazier I got to feel. It was amazing. It was the definition of LIFE!
Jason Called me in January 2016 asking me to help photograph Elana’s 33rd birthday. I was honored to know that I was their Family Photographer. I without a hesitation in my body I said yes. You got me. I bought all my gear. All my lights. I wanted to make sure we captured this event as if it was another wedding. What an amazing fun time we had, It was the first time I physically saw Elana since the wedding, Her physical body looked tired but her spirit was far from ever being broken! Her Smile is infectious with a glow of life, and of inner strength that was awe-inspiring. Elana, you were always surrounded by friends and family, you did nothing but look past this terrible disease and we always saw the young vibrant woman Elana was, The amazing love Jason had for Elana, and the love they shared with everyone one.
In September 2016, Elana Called me asking me to photograph her and the Gilda Club in Ft Lauderdale. Elana Was being highlighted for the organization. She was showing signs of fully beating this horrible Cancer. Full of life optimism and still with Jason by her side. More involved than the first day I met them. We spend 2 to 3 hours. photographing, joking, just reconnecting. I did not see a sick woman, but a strong bad ass who was kicking Cancers ass and taking names. I felt .. pride, I felt happiness. I felt relieved to see these two amazing souls looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Yesterday, Via Facebook I learned that Elana Loss the battle and passed away. I was driving home from NY, and thankfully in the passenger seat at the time. I collapsed. The breath in my lunges was lost. Tears fell instantaneously and my heart broke not just for Elana, but for Jason as well. I had no idea., I was lost for words. My wife asked me whats wrong, and I could say nothing. Elana was a light in this world that should have never been extinguish. We try to justify, to create narratives that allow our minds to comprehend on how and why we can lose such an amazing 34-year-old woman who brings joy, happiness, love to this world. We wonder what could be, what should have been, and cry for what really is. Jason, a brother, My heart, my family, my prayers go to you. How does one recover, I don’t think you can. I think you grow, and Elana will always help you to grow. Her smile will forever bring you a smile, her face will forever bring you tears. Her love will always complete you. To the Entire Kryshka, and Markowitz family and all of your extended family. Our VMAstudios Family is crying with you, and Celebrating this most amazing person. THANK YOU for giving me these 3 years and the lifetime of memories of knowing your Daughter, Your Wife, Your best friend. I am honored to have captured the happiest moments in your lives. I know that for your families lifetime, our images are going to be the most important in your worlds. That responsibility I am honored and are so proud to have given you …