Dearest M asked me if I could do the photographs for her parents 50th wedding anniversary.
I have never had so much fun at a photoshoot.
This family exudes love, love, love. It's palpable. You can feel it when two or three start to gather together. But when they are all together? Huge amounts of love and laughter and tears and hugs and giggles and
I showed up a bit early so I could catch some of the setting up and behind-the-scenes happenings.
They’re all bosses. And no one’s the boss. They just step in and step up and do what has to be done. No spats, no bickering. Honest to Pete, they’re just about perfect.
Think “Ozzy and Harriet” and you’ve got the C’s.
Fifty years. That’s a whole lot of time together.
I asked Mr. C what their secret was.
He said, “Sometimes you have to do things you might not like. Or want to do. But because your spouse loves it, you do it.”
And then he told me how much Mrs. C loves to shop for books - all kinds of books, new and used. She can’t pass up a book sale. And he stops for her. What does he do while she’s shopping? He takes a walk.
That’s some mighty fine love. It made me think of the country song, “Waiting on a Woman."
I got to chat with B’s wife after the party was winding down. We were talking about how she and B met. I love hearing people’s stories - how they met, how they fell in love, their wedding story.
Really, I just love LOVE stories.Listening to her, and watching her as she reminisced, I felt the love she has for this family. She told me that she and B had only been on a couple of dates when he took her to meet his parents. And she has the most vivid memory of how she felt. Comfortable and right and welcomed.
And she knew she wanted to be part of this family.
So many children. Looking around at the group of people gathered together, I was amazed at how everyone took care of all the children.
Reaching for lost balloons, sneaking pieces of treats off the tables and into waiting hands, gently guiding the tiny ones away from danger.
Why do they always go for the dangerous things?
Big cousins playing with the littlest cousins.
So darn sweet.
Some words, indeed.
She started to speak and sounded a bit wobbly. She kept going and her voice got stronger. Every now and then the emotion overcame her, and she would get a bit wobbly, but her big brother would put his hand on her.
Steadying her. Supporting her. He learned from his parents.
I wish all of you could have been there to hear what she had to say. It was a testament to their fifty years of life together - fifty years of marriage to one person, fifty years of having children and raising children and supporting children and loving children and loving grandchildren, fifty years of being there and staying there.
She spoke of many things. Things that you would want for every family. Dinners together every night. Sundays spent with family and extended family. Beach vacations. Little League games. Ice cream and fireworks. Cousins next door and cousins far away. Christmas mornings and everyday life. Not much money but a whole lot of love.
And as she spoke, I watched the family gathered around. Small smiles and big ones. Reflective looks, introspective looks, and some special looks passing between two or three. But mostly what I saw were the tears.
The love was too overwhelming.
M didn’t do this alone - I know God gave her the strength and the will to push through the tough parts. And the family. He gave her this special, wonderful, loving and lovely family.
They are special, these people.
And on a warm summer day in late August, I was blessed to be a part of it.
Thank you, C’s.
Love you. Mean it.