Amidst the angst of a pandemic, doth love and truth prevail.

It all started at 8:30 am as I was driving to my office for the first time in two weeks. I was only going to check on some product samples and send them along to a customer. Now, predictably, I had my surgical mask, gloves and disinfectant wipes at my side. I wouldn’t be in the office for more than an hour or two.

The distinctive ring tone from my Bluetooth connected car speakers interrupted my traffic-free I-95 commute, my innocuous thoughts and told me Rob was calling. I work with Rob and, even in lock-down, we speak every day.

“What’s up man?”

“You still have your camera,” Rob asked. Not a normal question, I thought.

“Of course,” I answered.

“You busy this afternoon?”

“Just working.”

This was not like a typical Rob call I thought. He was not a man that beat around the bush.

Rob blurted, “Will you photograph my wedding?”

<….Jaw dropping>

He continued, “Lori and I are getting married…today. Can we do it in your backyard?”

“OK,” I started. “Wait! What did you just say? Errr…married…today?  I’d be honored to have you guys get married…in my backyard…and take photos.”

“Cool. See you later.” Rob said, now sounding like Rob. Click.

After a couple of hours in the office and an uneventful ride home, I was ready to tackle planning a wedding ceremony in the backyard of my house, currently being renovated; not lived in nor ready for entertaining anyone. I went to the Big Y grocery store, bought flowers and a cake with a Grateful Dead lyric that the Baker screwed up and dashed home to ensure I had the right lenses and my camera battery was charged.

What could go wrong aside from the miswritten words on a store-made cake?

Nothing. Because two people who loved each other decided to make a move, as inevitable as evolution, and made a formal commitment. Not just for two people I cared deeply about, but for their entire family consisting of three children from prior relationships who have bonded over the years emotionally as well as any three kids could under any circumstances. Stability, unity, long term commitment has meaning. Thus, was this day created, in the middle of a horrible number of weeks and spawned a long-expected ceremony. Amidst the angst of a pandemic, doth love and truth prevail.

So, we threw together a little ceremony, vowing to keep current social distancing practices. I took pictures. We all listened to vows hastily written, yet honest and thoughtfully spoken.

And then, fuck it, we hugged.