Seeing more in wedding pictures
October 08, 2008
The wedding pictures lay in front of me. My mind races as I leaf through the nicely packaged album, picture after picture.
At the risk of embarrassing my son Keil and his new wife Shay, I can't help but reflect as I browse the photos. But this is what I do, write about experiences and lay it out for our corner of the world to see. It has been that way for my entire family my entire career. Everything and anything can be fodder for this column.
I can't believe the amount of time that had elapsed. I look at the photos and recall a time when Keil was only a few days old, virtually everything about him was a mystery to me then. I marveled at the emotion I felt for an infant I barely knew, and hoped life would bring him many blessings.
I was already thinking about his character, and how much I wanted him to grow up to be decent, kind and honest. Like every parent I wanted him to do well, and spare him some of life's harshest realities.
Time passed, in an instant it seems now.
Ten years later, I knew so much more about this youngster. I knew he had a good mind and a vivid imagination. I had hopes he would be an avid reader, a fisherman, and have a love for all sports.
I was beginning to understand he loved ice cream cones, and avoided his vegetables at all costs, even in the face of my threats to throw him off the roof if he didn't eat them all. I learned he complained little when he was sick, but appreciated and loved the attention he got from his mother. And he was a champion sulker when he was angry.
And yes, those formative years also went speeding by.
For better or for worse, his upbringing was half over now. I tired to explain to him that character matters, I wanted and expected him to be a good child, a good young man and later a good husband, father and citizen of his community.
Years continued to pass, it seemed in the mere blink of an eye.
I saw a face that struggled with the pressures of having his dad as his wrestling coach, high school graduation excitement, fear and the emotions of college life.
I continued my father-son talks—it was propaganda really, attempting to mold and shape him into a better person. Keil would respond with that 'here-we-go-again' roll of his eyes as I broke into another of my lectures on life.
It was those faces of my son that kept jumping out at me, even though I was looking at a grown-up young man with a beautiful bride on his arm.
I look at the pictures of Keil and Shay in their wedding album and remember when they first started dating, the proms, and other special events. I remember when they broke up and how shattered Keil was, and when they decided to give their relationship a second chance. And I remember thinking, if I could choose Keil a wife, I would have chosen one just like Shay.
Today, Keil and Shay live near Royal Oak, battling the bustling city life. Keil goes to work each day in a high rise office building and Shay works toward her college degree in special education. They face challenges as a team now, and I couldn't be happier for them.
So you see, when I look at those photos commemorating a joyous day, I see so much more.
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