Excerpt Courage that Counts subject to copyright
Pulling my charcoal grey F-150 up to the park where Roy told me to meet him, I still can’t figure out what we would be doing in the middle of the day on a Friday. I got a cryptic text from Roy.
Roy: Meet me at Eagleview Park at 12. Clean yourself up surfer.
As I make my way down the path towards the park, I hear laughing. The sound brings a smile to my face. It is music to my ears hearing Roy and the girls laughing in the middle of everything that has been going on. This past week has been emotionally exhausting for everyone. They all need moments like this. Winding my way down the path, I come to a halt so I can take in the scene in front of me.
Roy, Michelle, Kelsey, and Hannah are playing tag in the open field. The mountains are behind them and they are running after each other laughing and smiling. Roy catches Hannah her long blonde curls bouncing as he grabs her and swings her through the air. She lets out a squeal and tries to break free. Planting a kiss on her cheek Roy releases her. Again, they all scatter. This time Roy catches Michelle, wraps his arms around her, dips her then plants a kiss on her lips. I can see the love they have for each other shining in their eyes. It’s then that I notice that there is someone else in the field with them. Looking closer, I see he is taking pictures of all of them as they run around like they don’t have a care in the world. Now I see why I had to dress nice, but I’m still a little confused as to why I was invited to a family photo shoot. We may be like brothers but this feels like it should be about Roy and his girls. How do I fit into the mix?
“Uncle Dylan, come play with us.” Kelsey is the first to notice me watching them. As soon as she yells at me, both girls take off running in my direction. Not long after, I have one in my arms and one wrapped around my leg. This is their usual greeting. It always brings a smile to my face. Man, I love these girls. The photographer is snapping shots of me and the girls. It all becomes clear to me why I was asked to be a part of this photo shoot. When he isn’t here anymore, I will be the male role model for the girls. It will be nice to have photographic memories to share with them that include me and their father. It is touching and heartbreaking at the same time.
Eagleview Park is the perfect place for the photo shoot; bright green, grass covers an open field, an amazing mountain view in the background, and a playground. Yes, this is the perfect place to celebrate being a family.
The pictures are going to be amazing because the photographer is obviously an expert at capturing shots of the everyday interactions of the family; like the game of tag and Roy pushing Hannah on the swing and transforming it into so much more. He gives us a look at a few of the shots on the screen of his camera. Wow! You wouldn’t believe how much love shone through the images.