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Taking Pictures Part 2

Taking Pictures Part 1 | 2

 

I took the shoulder strap off, opened the case, and removed the camera. I then realized that there was only one exposure left on the film in the camera and no spare roll. I explained to Torey he would have to look at all the animals first and then decide what he wanted a picture of before taking it.

He was mildly upset at first, but the excitement of being there took over and he began to concentrate on the animals again. After touring the entire area, we stopped at the concession stand for some refreshments.

(Read Related : Valentine Pictures)

I asked Torey, while we were drinking our sodas, if he knew what he wanted to take his picture of.

He nodded and said, "Oh, yes! Can I go take the picture now?"

I asked him what he had in mind, but he smiled shyly and would not tell me. I figured he was getting back at me for keeping the zoo a secret. Hence, I finally told him he could go ahead and take the picture if he could do it without going out of my sight.

He pointed to a spot near the chimpanzees and said, "Can I go over there?"

I nodded and looked at him suspiciously because I knew he was up to something. The chimpanzees were not on his list of favourites. Torey ran to the spot he had pointed to and looked back at me for approval. I nodded my consent.

I saw him raise the camera and snap his picture but I could not tell what it was he was aiming at due to a small group of people in the way. He ran back to me with the camera as the picture was still developing. He did not want to let me see it at first, but realized it was hopeless to keep it from me forever and handed it to me for my inspection.

My mouth fell open in astonishment when I looked down at the developing picture of the elderly couple we had encountered at the entrance. They had their arms around each other and were smiling at Torey.

(Read Related : Anniversary Poems)

"Aren't they awesome?" He glowed.
"Today is their fifty-first anniversary, and they are still in love. I heard them say it."

In that moment I knew, perhaps for the first time since the divorce, that everything was going to be all right. I knew Torey understood that his mother and I will never have a fifty-first anniversary but in his mind, we are both very special.

I knew Torey somehow realized, even at the age of five, that those folks who do stay together for fifty years or more must be extra special, special enough to take a picture of. And I knew that what Torey chose to remember from his outing that day was a snapshot of true and lasting love.

By Ken Grote

Taking Pictures Part 1 | 2

 

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