My Parent’s Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary: The Picture I Couldn’t Take
My Dad and My Husband
The circle of friends and family arc towards my parents– a smile made of loved ones. They stand in the driveway and on acres of grass my dad has clipped close with a riding mower. He can’t walk anymore but unwilling to settle into a chair, he finds ways to work.
My mom in her blue outfit that matches her now damp eyes beams back at the crowd. One of her long fingered hands rests on my dad’s shoulder the other on his wheelchair. She wipes her eyes and smiles at my husband who has been reminiscing about the years he has known them.
He stands to one side looking at my mom still tall and strong and my dad bent but determined in his wheelchair and speaks again.
My grandmother frowns, a little puzzled as she often is these days, and asks me, “Why doesn’t he speak louder.”
“He can’t,” I say wiping my own eyes. “He’s crying.”
Through a throat clogged with emotion, the man whose eyes never weep chokes out, “These two welcomed a hippie kid into their home.” He fights back tears and tells of being taught to abalone and of being invited to hunting camp for the first time.
Then he turns to my dad. “But more than all that, through these last five years when things have been so tough (He gestures at Dad’s wheelchair) He taught my sons what courage means. . . He taught them how to be men.”