If she knew I was publishing this, I'd be black and blue for a month. Like so many “older” women, she doesn't like to be photographed. I have some wonderful, professional shots from our wedding, when she was 44, some candids from our honeymoon a few months later, a scattering from her 40's and 50's, and a few from the last half decade. This one, from last November, is a sneak shot that she doesn't know I got.
It is in the US National Botanical Gardens in Washington DC, in the tropical atrium near the entrance. The hair? One trim post chemo. Used to be a lot darker. Now somewhat longer, it bit more stylish, and sporting a purple streak on the upper right (her right) bangs.
It was the day I got to introduce a woman who rarely sees 10AM to one of the best experiences of my life. Dawn on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. For those not familiar, the statue of Lincoln faces east to Washington's obelisk, and the Capital. The sun comes up behind the capital and Washington's obelisk, directly into Lincoln's face. Bring coffee or tea, your favorite pastry, and a pre-perused newspaper on which to sit, because those marble steps are COLD regardless of air temp.
As the sun comes up, you have a few young, hearty tourists walking around. Then there's the runners. Marines and army, mostly, and you can tell by the tags under their shirts, and the Rocky runs up the steps, much longer than those in Philly, and the man at the top, sitting in quiet contemplation. Join him. It makes about a half hour from first light to the sun coming over Washington's spire. Time well spent.
She put it in the memory bank's, and I'll get to carry it for us both later. The look of delight as the sun first poked over the dome. The look of contemplation as a 6'2″, 200 pound Marine triple stepped to the top, looped the open side under Mr. Lincoln's gaze then loped down four steps at a time and headed for the Capital.
Michelangelo would have been looking for a suitable chunk of marble.
This picture is all I need to summon that morning.