Hand written invitations don’t often show up in our mailbox.
Seeing the thick hand addressed white envelope, I opened it immediately.
Inside was a photo of a wedding photo taken 50 years ago.
The black and white portrait revealed the proverbial beautiful bride and handsome groom.
Certainly, many brides and grooms look lovingly at each other on their wedding day.
Yet there was something striking about this photo.
A glint, a sparkle, a shine in the bride’s eyes stood out as she looked at her new husband.
The groom’s gaze upon his bride signaled a strong but gentle devotedness and caring.
The young couple settled into the rhythm of newlywed life—getting to know one another, settling into their first home, having friends over for dinner.
The hum of life also brought budgets to balance, the birth of two beautiful children, night time feedings, sleep deprivation, the usual childhood illnesses, fixing meals, preschool and church involvement, school projects, carpools, camping, helping neighbors, graduations, retirement and the arrival of grandchildren.
A full and generous life.
When we attended this couple’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration recently, I noticed this couple’s the delight and caring for one another still lit up the room—just as in their wedding photo.
It hadn’t been dampened by the demands and challenges that are part of every life.
“What is their secret?” I wondered over the next week. Perhaps I should have asked them, but this seemed awkward, so I simply mulled the question over in my mind.
I may not have this right, but I think over the 50 years, both bride and groom treated one another kindly, and extended this gift to others in their lives.
Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, nothing out of reach for any of us. Just a touch of kindness—minute by minute, day by day—over the decades.
So simple. So beautiful. So sustaining.
But not easy for souls like me to remember.