How Can Thank You Ever Be Enough For Your Service?

When we decided to show our appreciation for the selfless service of those who serve our country in the military this past Veterans Day, we never imagined the response in nominations for the two sessions we gifted , as a thank you. We were pleased to announce this wonderful couple from Monroe, Georgia was the recipient of one of them.

Meet Harry and Patricia Malcom. Parents to old high school friends of mine and, as the session progressed,  I was enlightened that we were FAMILY! (This is the second time this has happened since October-Found out at an October wedding that I was related the the bride when I recognized distant family members in the wedding party)  I just love when God lays these kinds of plans in motion. Family means everything to me.

Once realizing that I was photographing and thanking a wonderful veteran for his service, who happened to be family, it brought the session to a whole different level and meaning. Being friends with the daughters of this couple was enough but to realize that we were related through our fathers families, made me so proud that they were chosen.

Their daughter Julie was instrumental in the shoot taking place and helped me coordinate the time, place and history to share with you. It was such fun to hear the stories and witness her excitement about this opportunity to capture photos of them. Especially since Ms. Patricia “Doesn’t like havin’ her pickcha made.” (Oh, how I love a southern woman’s accent)

Patricia was a freshman in high school when she met Harry. Not being the one for dating, after having  gone out on a double date and  realizing that the boy was an “octopus” she said… She swore off dating. She and some girlfriends were doing as all girls, playing “What If” and she was asked, “If she could pick one person to go out with who would it be… She pointed directly to Harry. On a Friday night, not long after that, she went to one of the schools basketball games. She and her girlfriend, that she had attended the game with, were in the car leaving when Harry walked up  and knocked on the window. She rolled down the window to the smiling face that she had pointed to as the ONE she would go out with over any other.  He promptly asked her out for Saturday night. (She couldn’t remember where they went. Harry said they went to a basketball game.)

After dating for 2 years through high school, the excitement of his graduation approached only to have Harry leave a few days later for Marine boot camp in Paris Island, SC.  So in love and broken to be apart, Harry was determined to not let distance stand in the way of their relationship. He resigned himself to get there somehow and without hesitation hitch hiked constantly back and forth to Monroe for the weekends just to see Patricia.

Still only a junior in high school (fall of 1960) Harry made the trip home one weekend and planned a trip to Athens to go the local carnival. At some point during the evening after the Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, bumper cars, snow-cones and games to win her something special, he turned to her and said, “I got ya something….. Look in the pocket of my jacket”… It was an engagement ring. They were married the following summer. June of 1961.

Married now for 54 years, they still live on the same property he grew up on and raised his family of  4 daughters. They now share the memories of this land and their family history with their 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren!

It just warmed my heart to be there when some of his grandchildren arrived for a planned evening of flying motorized airplanes on the back property where we did the shoot. As Harry and I were enthralled in conversation his grandson, Aaron, so politely said, “Excuse me please, I know I shouldn’t interrupt, but we are runnin’ outta daylight.” As I ended the conversation with Harry, his grandson turned to say it was nice to meet you. I said, “You too cousin.”

Thank You Harry for your dedication to this country and to your family. You are a blessing.

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