Joseph picked up the silver-gilded frame and stared at the image. A nervous young man stood stiffly in an army dress uniform with his arm around the waist of his new wife, dressed elegantly in a simple, straight white satin dress and carrying a simple bouquet. The couple stood in front of the church doors as well-wishers broke into applause.
He remembered how giddy Helen was with excitement the day they decided to get married. Home on leave he asked her. The war prompted quick action on the field of battle and off it. A promise was a promise until the day you died. And that could be any day. It was a time when memory was long, a handshake communicated trust and steadfastness was an anchor in a marriage.
The young man aged into the weathered reflection staring into the photograph. Sixty years had passed since that day and with it a million memories.
Returning the photograph to the dresser Joseph straightened his tie and adjusted his cuffs. In the mirror a formal black suit replaced the dress uniform. Helen interrupted his reverie.
“It’s time for the party, dear and we are the guests of honour. Everyone is waiting for us. Happy anniversary, darling.”