We don't have too many pictures of my parents, which makes this beautiful one even more special.
This is a couple that has been completely in love since the tender age of 17. Not long after they met, they eloped in a tiny church, ignoring the critical judgment of my grandma and everyone else. My mom changed into her wedding gown, a light blue long, paisley halter dress, at a gas station on the way. Even so, she made a beautiful bride with her feathered hair, and him a handsome, slender groom.
Through the rough times, and there were many, they persevered. When the world around them was crashing down, they held on to each other and a hope and a prayer. Their home never 'felt' poor. Quite the opposite; it was rich in love. They raised a daughter and two sons. The children grew up thinking all adult couples spooned on the couch every night when they watched tv. That Dads were always there to protect and moms worked hard and secretly liked getting their butts pinched all the time. And when you fought, you fought loud and hard, but never for long.
Nearly 33 years after that young couple married, they danced at my wedding. This is how I want to remember my Dad. Strong, handsome and happy. Free of pain, not only able to walk, but to dance as well. To hold close the family he loved so very, very much. I hope in heaven he is getting to ride the most badass motorcycles as fast as they will go and feel the breeze through a head full of hair. It's your turn to soar Dad, to be in a place where life is always on your side and you get to experience a love we can only speculate about here.
I wish you so much peace. Our hearts are broken without you and our family will never be the same.