When Matthew and Lyndsay Brentlinger heard the good news – that they were having twins – they were over the moon. But on December 17, 2016, the big day finally arrived to welcome them to the world, and things were not as hopeful as they hoped. William and Reagan were born and became the most essential thing in the Brentlingers’ lives. They loved them with all their hearts. However, William was not well. The doctors told his parents that he had severe problems and would not survive long after birth. They gave him just 11 days to live.
William was diagnosed with a heart condition that proved fatal. When doctors learned about his health, they knew they had no way to help him. Modern medical technology hadn’t progressed far enough yet to help him recover. They were still in the dark about how to help him. All his parents could do with the diagnosis was make his time on the planet as joyful as possible.
Apparently, the news broke Matthew and Lyndsay’s hearts. But they refused to let the bad news break them altogether. While sad, they took action and contacted a photographer who specialized in portraits.
Because they knew William would not be around for long, they wanted to get as many photos of him with the family as possible so he would never be forgotten. They didn’t have much time. So they pulled some strings and made it happen fast.
Photographer Lindsey Brown heeded the Brentlingers’ call. She signed up to work for them and photograph the family for the first and the last time.
They got to hold the tiny twins in their arms and shower them with love – and it was all captured in a photo. Although he does not appear unwell in the pictures, his condition is an invisible abnormality with his heart. And it proved fatal. Because they knew their son was going to leave their family soon, they wanted as many photos as possible while he was still there. It was their way for him to make a mark in the world although he was just days old.
The photos show the family together. But knowing that William would not be around in just a matter of days painted the images with a darkness, a sadness. Nevertheless, Brown captured the feeling of love that exuded from the parents for their babies. And that love would persist long after William passed away through the photos and in the hearts of his parents.
William left his parents too soon. But at least they acted quickly enough to get Brown into the room with her camera and capture the love of the family as soon as they could. Now they will have a way to remember this little boy that is sweet and beautiful.
The pictures will help Matthew and Lyndsay keep William in their thoughts for the rest of their days. And when his sister Reagan grows up, she’ll be able to see her brother before he was lost. And that will mean the world to her, as it would to any twin.