Today my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Several weeks ago I sat in front of a fresh greeting card with a pen in my hand. I made a motion toward the paper and stopped short. I was simultaneously caught in an absence of words and an abundance of images.
A too-young Marine officer and a freshly minted nurse in crisp white laughing together as a bouquet flies behind them
Sunny scenes of an island paradise where they lounged in a honeymoon paid in sacrifice
A British racing green Chevrolet custom ordered with black leather and a drop top
A crying child
Kansas heat with a box fan bought on a Sears credit card and cold beer purchased by a mother-in-law that might well have needed it for herself
Boxes filled with life shuffled across a continent
Track meets, tough jobs, model rockets, musicals, and football games
Rumors of another war
A pop-top camper where the warm glow of a Coleman lantern taught us all about how to build memories
A world turned upside down and another war
You hold doors, you guide hands, you quip, and you dance even when we aren’t there. You laugh and cry and hold one another. You teach us how to love.
What do you write in a card about a half century lived in the confidence of a covenant?
I’m still not sure.