Today is my grandparentss 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years. I can barely fathom that. The whole extended family is in town (minus Zach, who was sorely missed) and this is the first time in 6 years that we have all been together, as we are spread out between Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, and New York. The past couple days have been a mirage of swimming, hiking, games, cookies, water fights, photo shoots, and stories. The stories are the sweetest part, the part that makes it worth the travel and planning. Last night we threw an ice cream social party for my grandparents and I met the friends that they have talked about for years. After everyone left, we sat inside and my grandparents told stories from their first three months of marriage.
There was the story about my grandfather walking out of the Methodist conference refusing to cooperate, or them spending a night of their honeymoon on benches in Union Station in DC, or them traveling to revivals in dirty churches. We heard about his exciting acceptance to Princeton, and multiple moves where my grandmother fixed up little houses and parsonages for them to call home. But my favorite story is the one my grandfather tells about my grandmother’s wedding dress. Her college roommate made the dress, hemming all the yards of ruffle by hand, and my grandfather had heard stories of how beautiful it was to be. He describes seeing the church doors open and my grandmother walking towards him in yards of white satin “without spot or blemish.” This is how his love was at that point, he explains. He told us that over the past 60 years he has learned much more what it means to love, but in that moment, as he saw her in her perfect dress, he felt that he loved as perfectly as his young heart was capable. He said that his vows were beautiful because they proclaimed that love to world.
Last week I took photos of my grandparents to put on display at the party, and I wanted to share some. These are the most beautiful people I know. On June 3rd 1951, these two people took vows that have been tried by job demands, moves, illness, and the chipping away at love that comes with growing older. But today, 60 years later, they can still claim to be in love.