A Thousand Words
A young couple, standing before the minister, taking their vows; the golden rings fitted with the confirming kiss.
Everyone sighs in the couple’s happiness, standing as the couple walks past, smiling in their contentment. Everyone leaves, heading to the reception, the party to begin, the loving wishes, the hugs; and the cake the children in the crowd are eyeing.
It’s a beautiful day for the couple and everyone in attendance, one they will remember forever.
They load the gifts after the reception, taking them home to open when the excitement of the day calms with the evening. Stacking everything in the corner, they start to open the gifts. The boxes first, all the appliances for the countertops, envelopes filled with sentimental cards, tickets to Disneyland for their honeymoon or to use after.
Looking at all that sits before them, the wrapping paper, the supportive cards; the couple see a last unopened present still on the floor.
Taking the package in the husband’s hands, he opens it, a big photo album; inside, tucked neatly where a picture will someday be, a few dollars and a note.
[This is all I could give, you the happy couple, make the pages full; and fill them with . . . love.]
Along with the note was a hundred dollar bill, there wasn’t a name, just the album, the note and the cash.
The couple sat there thinking, this is the technology age, no one uses these things anymore, some people just don’t keep up.
Soon the album was put in a dark corner of the garage, the money had been spent at one of the local restaurants; life was rolling along.
Through the early years, the couple took long drives, they went on hikes, and everywhere they went; they took their digital camera along with them. They would load the pictures on the computer, share them with their friends and family; keep a few and discard a few.
It wasn’t long, children were running from room to room, mommy and daddy this; mommy and daddy that. The pictures were taken and stored, computer file after computer file. Soon the children were graduating from college, they were all grown up, leaving home, the pictures taken an filed.
Married with children of their own, the children and grandchildren of the coupe visit for the holidays, helping with dinners, sharing stories, reminiscing; just spending time together. The pictures taken and filed, the family ties confirmed on the computer.
One day, the facts of life come calling, knocking on life’s door like Thor himself is hitting the door with his hammer. The doctor in the E.R. tells the family that the husband’s heart gave out, there was nothing he could have done to save him. There were tears, there were prayers, hands were held; all while the wife spent her last moment at her husband’s side.
For a bit of time, the wife was as breathless as her husband now laying on the bed. The family comes into the room, coaxing her to go home, she needs the rest. Reluctant to leave, she knows she must; she kisses her husband then slides her hand down his cheek, my most beautiful companion, I love you! She walked away from her husband’s tear stained sheets.
While at home, the wife sleeps for hours, her health was worst than her husband’s; they lovingly joked with one another before he passed that she would leave before him; just so that she could decorate their heavenly cottage.
While the wife lay sleeping, the children cleaned the home, storing things in the garage, washing clothes; fixing the meals.
One of the couples children, while in the garage they found a box, in the box was the photo album, unused with the note to fill the pages with love still in the front page. Off to the store they went, a three hundred dollar investment, and the use of a couple of memory sticks later, they filled every page of the photo album, all the memories; through all the years in their love of one another.
When the wife woke, the children came in, they talked of their father and their time together, asking what she remembered about the couple’s wedding; then they gave her the thick and now heavy photo album.
The wife opened the book, read the note, and smiled. She told her children that she couldn’t really remember the people in attendance that day, and that she couldn’t begin to tell them what gifts the couple had received that day so long ago; but she did remember the photo album.
The wife sitting up in her bed, talking to the children and the grandchildren, you know, the wife says, we didn’t have much use for this photo album, it was old-fashioned. The wife thought, now that I can’t sit at the computer for more than a second at a time, I now understand the meaning of the note; guess it was the best of all the wedding gifts that we received, thank you all. She said while turning the page, her children asked who gave them the photo album? She looked at her children, somehow I know, but it was never confirmed, she told her children. Guess God only knows if the person was someone that we loved and visited with, or if they were someone that loved us, and we simply took them for granted; but what a beautiful gift of life they gave.
The wife turned the page, a photo of her and her husband, their wedding day; tears came, working their way into her heartfelt smile.
Like the song goes, “The things some people will say, They can see black and white, But they don’t seem to notice the gray,” even though, it’s in the gray that life can be found in abundance. If allowed, and nurtured, good memories will be found there, accepted in the heart; and shared for generations so that maybe they . . . can build a better tomorrow.