Their story is one of love, heartache and destiny. As you see, my mother was the epitome of love, she didn’t know anything else. When she gave, she gave all. My dad knew this and sometimes advantages were taken for granted by it. He knew there was no other who could love him the way my mother did, nor would any other do so. Call it dysfunction, call a spade a spade. For whatever it’s worth, growing up in my home taught us many things, but the most was love. I can see the above picture as if it were yesterday, mom feeling safe, holding on to my dad with a gentle, feather soft touch, holding her head against his head, her heart full. He, laying there enjoying the peace of mind and their stationary indulgence of each other as she cradles him in an engulfing solitude. They are whole as one. A hard day working in the garden to feed nine children and an even harder evening of washing clothes outside on a rub board, tells their life story. Yes, in all of it’s splendor, this was our living room, the old couch having seen way too many days. The wall in it’s prodegenerative state with the drywall tape absent. The ever-present signs of a hard day of work written across their clothes. Dad lying there like a child being caressed by his mother. Going deeper into the lives within the photo, one can feel the pulse of my dad’s heart in my mom’s arm. She can feel the heaviness of his shoulders on her chest, as he feels her breath through his hair. I can see the often absence of tenderness is my dad’s folded hands, a retreat, relaxation from the demands of others who were looked up to, more important than him. This photo is proudly owned by me and reminds me of them both. Reminding me of my truths. I display it proudly without reservation or embarrassment. For it is them, in their finest. This familiar, yet unorthodox union of two people who couldn’t be more different, look the same here. Their ideas and what is left of their dreams culminate in a loving spirit of hardship, yet endurance. This photo is not sad, yet it is brutally realistic, supporting the values I hold dear. The values that I always knew were there, even when my dad was at his worst. If only you could look at this photo and its absence of materialistic value, you might feel the reason there was a need for us to carry the contents of this photo forward to appreciate our lives, our abundances of joy and recognition that fruitful things often come from the droughts that others go through to make it better for others. When you look at this photo, don’t feel sorrow, don’t feel judgement. If anything, feel a little envious if you have never had this kind of love. No, it was never perfect, obviously. Yes, it was often scary, and many are the times I can remember if I choose to do so. But for this picture, let me remember them in their best light of one another. I will consider it an honor for anyone who looks at this picture and understands the love that blooms behind a tattered backdrop.
Copyright @coffeewithcharles.blog (Charles D. Grant)