A Rostotski Love Story
Being part of a family business that has been in existence for almost 50 years has some specific sweet points. I will often get to work with clients who began their relationship with us when they were brought in for their own baby portraits. I get to hear the stories about how their portrait has impacted their lives. Many children who were three or older will actually remember the experience that they had with my father which is always amazing to me. We love hearing these personal stories and I have one that I wanted to share with you today. This story is amazing. It gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. It’s a truly magical love story. A beautiful story that first started with a Rostotski portrait. But I will let you hear the story from the person who experienced it. Stephen Perchard was gracious enough to take some time to put to words exactly how his interaction with one of our portraits in our popular airport display impacted his life in a way that he could have never have predicted. I hope you love this story as much as we did. Enjoy!
When I was six years old I fell in love for the first time. She had brown hair and was dressed in white. And she lived at the airport.
Though my family never actually travelled, at least not by air, St. John’s International Airport was always an exciting destination.
My family ventured to the airport regularly twice a year. In late July, my mother would bundle my younger siblings and I into our car and make the trek to Torbay to welcome my Uncle Gerald and his family home from Halifax where he was stationed. A few weeks later we would repeat the trip, this time to bid them farewell when their holiday was over.
I suppose that such an annual ritual for most six year olds would be a fairly mundane and forgettable experience. I, however, eagerly looked forward to these trips for two reasons. First of all, there was the anticipation of seeing my cousins who I hadn’t seen in a year. But most importantly, it meant I would get to see her again.
At the time, I don’t think I realized she was even a real person. She existed only on canvas, hung on the wall amongst dozens of other pictures. But for some illogical reason, my six-year-old self was drawn towards that girl, and I felt that I intimately knew who she was.
I can’t explain the connection I felt. Despite the fact that I only saw that picture twice a year, I would think about it regularly. I remember one day even asking my mother if she could drive me to the airport so that “I could see the picture of the pretty girl again.” To my dismay she didn’t.
I found that little girl to be beautiful yes—but there was something so much more innocent and childlike—maybe even naïve—in my reaction to her. I found her picture calming. I found it peaceful. I felt that we were friends, and as long as I could see her, everything was going to be okay.
As I got older and was more likely to keep my feelings to myself rather than sharing them with my mother, I still made it a point to sneak a look at that picture whenever I found myself at the airport. Just knowing the picture was there made me happy.
I am not sure when, but eventually the picture was taken down and replaced by others. I don’t remember how old I was when I first realized that the picture was no longer there, but I do remember feeling sad- Albeit, just for a moment.
As I grew even older and visited the airport as a teenager, I still would quietly look around, hoping that the picture had somehow been returned.
Over time, the memory of that picture all but faded away… a rarely-thought-about memory buried deep in my childhood.
Years later, I started dating this girl. I was head over heels for her, though pretending that I wasn’t.
Eventually, she invited me to have dinner at her parents’ home. I was nervous when I walked up to her house; however, when I stepped into her living room, I saw a face that put my mind at ease.
There on the wall was a picture of her as a child. She had brown hair and was dressed in white.
When I married that girl a few years later, the photographer gave us a copy of that picture as a wedding present.
The picture currently hangs on my wall.
That girl no longer lives at the airport. She lives with me.
Wow! I have to say that it feels so nice to be connected with that story. Stephen and Amy came to me for their maternity portraits last year. For me it was like a celebrity sighting. I hadn’t photographed either of them before but immediately realized that these were the two from the airport display love story. All of my time with them has been wonderful. You can feel how in love they are. They really do have a magical relationship. This portrait shows them with their son, Henry, when he was 6 weeks old. Stephen and Amy, thanks for letting me share your story.
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