It was August 24, 1977 the day we strolled through the California State Fair. I honestly don’t remember much other than we were together, happy and enjoying the day. We were young and had been dating for two years. I was just out of high school when we met, a mere 17 years young and inexperienced in life. He was a mature almost 21-year-old worldly and handsome.
I don’t know what prompted us to stop. Neither of us had much money at that time in our lives to spend on extras. Every time I reflect on that day I am so very, very thankful that for whatever reason we stopped at that cutting edge, modern computer photo booth with the classy dot matrix printer.
The man seated us next to each other getting us ready to take our picture, you know, like a school picture. Only, it wasn’t exactly a picture. We watched as he looked at his computer screen and then…back and forth, back and forth the computer printer went back and forth, back and forth. When it was done the man tore the paper off of the printer and handed it to us.
There we were, young and naïve, not knowing what our future held. We stood there starring at that black and white image of ourselves. It was done mostly in hash tags with some commas, and slashes thrown in. When it was done it looked like a pencil sketch. It was a picture of us forever capturing us in that moment.
I am so thankful for that picture and that memory. You see, we continued to date for a few more years. Then life happened and we went our separate ways and lived our lives apart, not seeing or hearing from each other for nearly thirty years. Neither of us forgot the other and as life would have it we came back together one day. It was like no time had ever passed between us and we picked up where we left off. We were older, wiser and still in love.
That picture is now framed and hangs on the wall of our bedroom so every time we enter the room it’s the first thing we see. Again, each time I look at that picture, I am thankful for that day in 1977 at the California State Fair, thankful that we found each other again and thankful that God kept us safe and ready for the day we reunited.
We stopped trying to figure out why or how things happen the way they do. I can only speak for myself but I thank God everyday for the second chance I have been given to love this man that got away from me so many years ago. Every time I walk into our bedroom and look at that picture I smile and I am thankful.