Thursday, April 3, 2014

TBT in the A2Z

Day 3 of the A-Z Blog Challenge, and I'm thinking I may use Thursdays as a platform for my 'oldies but goodies'.

Actually I can only promise old, not good.
I didn't take this one.


C is for Just a Couple of Kids

January, 1984.
Engaged for one full complete entire glorious month.
Wasn't every day glorious when you were 23, marking off the days until you said I do?

We're five months away from our wedding here. Fellow brides I knew back in 1984 didn't have two year engagements. Most didn't have one year engagements. A lovely wedding could easily come together in six months or less, and I'm quite certain that is still possible, except weddings today have morphed into Events. With a capital E.

I tell my girls when it comes to weddings, the most important thing is to pick the right groom. The rest is incidental.

This picture was taken in hubs apartment, and I have to say this photo makes it look slightly better than I remember. I know it's his apartment because I see the scratchy plaid sofa that hit your neck at an awkward angle, and also the cross stitch mallards I made for him back when I was 23 and still had 20/20 vision.

When I saw this picture the first thing that leapt out at me was my skin. I really can't explain it, except to say that seeing my skin in this picture made me feel, not old exactly, more like not as young as I am in my head.

Mid life is a funny thing. Sometimes your mind tricks you into thinking you're still that girl, but a picture like this one confirms you're not. At least not on the outside. In 1984 my skin had a youthful glow. At what age did I stop looking youthful? At what age did I start using phrases like youthful glow?

The other thing that struck me when I came across this photo was how bright eyed and relaxed we both look. The effortless pose that says we're young and strong and "Hey future! Come and get us!'

And she did.

The future arrived one day, one month, one year at a time.

She came in the form of for better or worse.
Job transfers and relocations.
Homes bought and sold and stamped with the memory of a place in time.
Friendships nurtured across eight cities, five states, and two countries.

She came in the form of sickness and health.
A parent gone too soon and beautiful babies who filled spaces we didn't know existed.
Sleepless nights and magical days.
Heartbreak and heart-full.

Sometimes that future she roared.
Too long commutes and too big expectation.
Stitches in a toddler's head and tears on a teen girl's pillow.
Disagreements, cross words, regret.

More often though, she came in a whisper.
Gentle apologies and tender looks.
A slow dance in the kitchen on a summer night in June.
Laughter that cheers and heals and soothes and lifts and binds a family together.

The future sneaks up on you via candles on a cake and an aching back and where are my reading glasses. She hits you from behind with the overwhelming love you feel for all you've made and done and been and are.

You hold a picture in your hand. Just a couple of kids full of hope and confidence, certain they're ready for whatever life may bring.

For a moment you wish you were still those kids, and then you think about it and realize you are. A little less youthful on the outside maybe, a little wiser and stronger on the inside definitely, but at heart still just a couple of kids.

Kids knit together through time and experience and life in a way those 20-somethings could not imagine or understand until they lived it.

"One of the good things that come of a true marriage is that there is one face on which changes come without your seeing them; or rather there is one face which you can still see the same, through all the shadows which years have gathered upon it." George MacDonald


  1. I love that picture! That could almost be my parents (though admittedly they are a few years older than you) and that looks just like my living room from when I was a kid.

    I look at pictures of my wife and myself from just 10 years ago and it seems like so far away. I can't imagine what it will look like another 10 or 20 years down the line...

    A-to-Z Blog Challenge
    @CDGallantKing on Twitter

  2. You do look young and very happy!

  3. Love the tbt shot! We had a six month engagement back some 26 years so can be done! Loving this AtoZ series! Happy Thursday!

  4. I keep our college graduation photo out to remind of of those young kids who were so looking forward to our future :-)

  5. Well, I've said it before, but I'm thinking this rates as one of your TOP posts! I love that the "right" groom is the most important thing a girl will pick out for her wedding day. OH, my, truer words never spoken.

    This made me smile from ear to ear!

  6. Beautiful thoughts on memories and the passage of time. My favorite phrase in the whole post, though, was "I tell my girls when it comes to weddings, the most important thing is to pick the right groom. The rest is incidental." If they learning nothing more than that out of your series, it will have been worth the effort.

  7. Great photo. I agree with the simplicity of organising a wedding years ago compared to today. Ours took less than 3 months with little fuss, now it takes 2 years and at least 10 times as much money. A xx

  8. How beautiful Joyce - I love your poem. Thank you.

  9. How beautiful Joyce - I love your poem. Thank you for sharing.

  10. So beautiful and so true! Lovely, lovely!

  11. It only took me fifty nine years and two failed attempts to finally find the right man for me, the man who makes me feel like the woman I always thought I was. Great post. Thank you.

  12. I hear you on the skin issue. Sigh.

    Wouldn't you like to go back and talk to those couple of kids? Not that they'd probably listen to your advice, but still . . .

  13. Love all these thoughts, feel the same way about my marriage.
    Whenever I go to weddings I always think "you have NO IDEA what you are in for, the good and the hard!"