This was going to be a light piece about having a beehive removed from my back yard by Harry, of Harry Bee's Honey.  He is a bee expert, and according to Klinger, sells the best all-natural honey anywhere.  So as my light-hearted blog was writing itself, I had the great idea to get a picture of one of his beehives--and remembered that we borrowed them for a  previous year's calendar shoot but never used the photos.  Then I found the picture.  Taken by Teresa Ousley, of Wiz of Oz Photography, the beehive happens to be sitting under one of our favorite calendar models, queen bee Jamie Sedam.  Jamie passed away last November in an auto accident. (more after the photo)

Jamie Sedam from the 2012 Calendar Shoot With Teresa Ousley

While we were shooting this years' calendar over the weekend, many of the models and photographers shared funny little stories about Jamie, and we all smiled, or chuckled, and then there was this uncomfortable silence--a hole only she could fill.

I never shared this story about Jamie, but it's important to me as it deals with my daughter Katie.  Jamie met Katie at a ballpark function where Jamie's dance team happened to be featured during the same game as Katie's cheer squad (PV's now-famous Sparkles).  Katie was attracted to Jamie's contagious smile and loud laugh, and shyly watched as her dance team warmed up.  Jamie went over to Katie, and without any prompting from anyone, introduced herself, showed Katie a twirl and helped Katie do the same move.

People just don't go out of their way like that for other people, especially for kids like Katie, who are easy to dismiss.  But Jamie did--she reached out to her physically, emotionally, symbolically.  That kind of stuff stands out to a parent.  Katie then wanted nothing more than to join a dance team from that moment on.  Jamie offered to tutor Katie on her own time, with no compensation.  Just to help another kid discover a love for dance that Jamie herself had.

Well, for one reason or another, our schedules never aligned for lessons, and Katie went along and joined a special needs dance squad (also at PV, and also sponsored by the Sparkle Effect).  No big deal, people pop in and out of our lives for various reasons.

Fast forward 2 years, at one of the Dwyer and Michaels calendar shoots, and this plucky 19 or 20 year-old model comes up to me and says, "Hi Mr. Dwyer, how's Katie?  I hope she's still dancing!"  It took me a second to realize that it was Jamie, who was not only helping us with our calendar, but asking about my daughter, whom she had only minimal contact with one afternoon at a baseball game.  And showed Katie that she was important.  Trust me, that is not typical model-behavior.  But Jamie was far more than typical.

It's a rare quality that Jamie had--putting people at ease no matter who they were.

Jamie left a beautiful daughter behind when she passed.  I hope that Natalie will know just how special her mom was, and that even though their time together was brief, those moments can have a long-lasting effect.