She held the picture- dusty, frayed, ancient. They were holding hands, an eager smile lighting up her face, she looked into his eyes. She remembered the day vividly, sixty years ago. There were no diamond rings or exotic cars or vacations. He didn’t go on his knees with a proposal. He didn’t make any grandiose promises. He only brought his kinsmen and paid her bride price. He was agile with youthful strength and he vowed to provide for them both. She would never be hungry. She believed him.
She held the other picture, the one they had taken only a week before at Christmas. Her husband sat hunched at the middle chair, his head bald, his breathing laboured. She sat next to him, crossing her arthritic legs, holding his hand, baring a toothless smile. They were surrounded by their children, and their children’s children.