Photographer captures surprise reunion at Abilene Regional Airport


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Photographer Morgan McGuff captured a touching reunion between Jenny Gilbert and her daughter this past Saturday, and with help of social media delivered the pictures to the newly reunited family.

McGuff was at the Abilene Regional Airport to capture photos for a military wife whose husband was returning after an 8-month deployment. McGuff and her subject were waiting for the serviceman’s arrival when she saw Jenny Gilbert greet her other daughter Chelsea who was visiting for the weekend.

“I looked over and see this young girl hugging her mom, they’re laughing and crying. Then I see this other girl come out,” said McGuff.

The other girl that came into the terminal was Gilbert’s daughter Stevie who she hadn’t seen in more than a year – her homecoming was entirely unexpected.

“I saw her, I recognized her but I thought to myself you can’t be here because you’re in Georgia,” said Gilbert.

McGuff caught the entire surprise homecoming on camera but when it came time to give the photos over to Gilbert she was nowhere to be found.

“I was going to catch her at baggage claim but she had already left,” said McGuff.

McGuff then posted one of the pictures on social media in hopes to identify the women in the picture. Thanks to the help of online friends, Gilbert was found in just a few hours.

“A lady that I work with had seen it and sent it to my other friend and said ‘is this Jenny’ and she said ‘I think it is’!,” said Gilbert.

The photographs have been exchanged between McGuff and the Gilberts, and while Jenny is very grateful for the photos – the woman that took them says she was just putting herself in another mother’s shoes.

“As a mother, I would want to have pictures of something like that,” said McGuff.

For Gilbert the pictures were more than just a sweet gift, they were a larger gesture of pure kindness from a complete stranger.

“She didn’t have to take the pictures, she didn’t have to reach out to find me to give me the rest she took, she just did it and out of the kindness of her heart,” said Gilbert.

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