I came across some pictures this week that stopped me in my tracks.
They were from an anniversary photo shoot Jake and I did two years ago.
It was the first time I had looked at the images.
It felt like I had gone back in time as I looked at our faces.
It surprised me how young we look.
I was not surprised by how happy we were though.
I watched us walk through rows of pine trees while we held hands, laughed, and smiled.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love as I thought about those days.
It’s sweet when the past sneaks up on you.
But all I wanted to do was whisper to myself,
There’s more beauty.
More hope on the way.
Three years ago, Jake was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin Lymphoma and our lives changed.
After the initial shock of a diagnosis and treatment plan, we found ourselves in a tender routine that allowed for lots of time with just us.
We frequented the Ace Hardware just up the street from us.
It had everything we wanted in a date night.
A fountain drink station with Diet Coke and Diet Mtn Dew, and home improvement opportunities.
We’d sip fountain drinks and look at paint colors, but mostly just hold hands and talk quietly to each other.
I remember when they put the Christmas trees up.
The first time I saw it I knew I loved it.
A seven and a half foot lightly flocked tree, prelit with a mix of traditional Christmas lights and larger, beautiful round bulbs.
We walked by the tree a handful of times.
It was a little outside of our budget, but we loved it.
We ended up heading home with the floor model.
We put it up on November 12th, and it was perfect.
We needed a little extra Christmas that year.
I look back on that special time and I want to tell myself,
There’s more beauty,
more love on the way.
We got out that same Christmas tree a few days ago and put it up in our new house.
If this tree could talk, I bet it would say something sweet about us and the past few Christmases.
Hank crouches down low and really close to look at the tree.
He whispers “wow” when the lights turn on.
And I know that in a few years I’ll look back on these moments and think,
Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!