The photograph is both beautiful and sad: new mother Sally Obermeder clutching her baby daughter, their shoulders wrapped in a gold web, their bald heads wrapped in scarves.
Little Annabelle, now five, came into the world just two days after the Channel Seven journalist was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2011.
Three months later, legendary New York-based Australian photographer Anne Geddes captured that image. An image Obermeder has reflected upon in a touching Instagram post.
“I was so sick and struggling under the trauma of chemo, but Anne and her team made us feel totally enveloped in love and for a brief moment I forgot I was sick,” the 43-year-old wrote.
“She captured the love, but also the sadness in my eyes.”
Listen: The challenge of surviving breast cancer while managing family time. (Podcast continues after video).
For a long time, Obermeder wrote in the post, that sadness was all she could see in the picture.
But today, free of the disease and with another healthy young daughter, she looks at it through a new lens.
“A few months ago when we moved and I packed it up I looked at it somehow with fresh eyes,” she wrote.
“All I could see was us in a tight bond inside the web that life had spun for us.”
(Scroll through the post below to see Geddes’ photo.)
the way social media can connect us never fails to amaze me. i was up doing a middle of the night feed and as i often do to help me stay awake, i was scrolling through instagram. minutes later i got an email from the amazing Anne Geddes who was in NY and who i haven’t seen in a few years. It was so good to immediately pick up where we left off – Anne: ”how’s Annabelle” … “what’s she like” …”how’s she finding school” Me: how’s New York” … ”I’m sooo jealous” hahaha i was lucky enough to have Anne take a picture of Annabelle and I, when Annabelle was about 3 months old. I was so sick and struggling under the trauma of chemo but Anne and her team made us feel totally enveloped in love and for a brief moment i forgot i was sick. Anne wrapped Annabelle and i up in this really fine gold thread and i held Annabelle really close and she captured the love, but also the sadness in my eyes. For a long time i only saw the sadness, but a few months ago when we moved and i packed it up i looked at it somehow with fresh eyes and all i could see was us in a tight bond inside the web that life had spun for us. So as i sit here, feeding and reminiscing, I look back with gratitude for the experience and for putting someone as kind, compassionate and as incredible as Anne in my path. If you can be an Anne to someone who needs it, do it. The world needs more Anne’s. ❤️❤️To my love, Sarah who arranged for this Anne gift, i have never forgotten.
Obermeder underwent eight months of chemotherapy and two mastectomies before being cleared of the disease in October 2012.
Keen to grow her little family, the Daily Edition host was advised carrying a child could endanger her health and so she and her husband Marcus Obermeder enlisted the help of a US surrogate.
Their second child, Elyssa Rose, was born in December.
Do you have an ‘Anne’ in your life? Tell us in the comments below.