Five years ago today, Katie asked me to marry her. As I look through our engagement photos, their luster seems dulled, clouded in the reality of who my wife in them really was at the time. In retrospect, we were so happy sharing the mutual discomfort of being professionally photographed. But were we really happy? It’s hard to know.
There is a delicate balance in the celebration of our journey and reliving the reality of our past. I’ve talked about this before, but photos are still a powerful reminder of my grief. I have difficulty confronting who I am in the photos and who I’m with. There’s two versions of our truth: the version we lived and the version I know now that I understand Katie more. The person in the photos with me seems sadder, less present. I still see the essence of our humor, love and respect for the other in the photos, but holding onto only that version feels dishonest and incomplete.
That said, I still love these. Laced in sorrow and despair as they may be now, I still see who we are as a couple in them. They are part of our journey, and, to be honest, I think they are funny. We ate ice cream, joked, and laughed the whole time. Katie was obsessed with the graffiti wall. These pictures encapsulate a snapshot of who we are now. Sometimes that feels sad. Sometimes it doesn’t.
It should be noted that these photos were taken by the brilliant Blue Rose Photography here in Seattle. I’m honored to have worked with them.