John and Barb were married on July 4, 2020, surrounded by their family. While grandkids and their grown-up-children circled them in love and happiness, it is important to note that there were three big energies encircling the whole group. We could not see them, but we could all feel them: John's late wife, Barb's late husband, and, most importantly, God.
John has known me since I was a rag-tag child, running around like a feral heathen with his daughter, Andrea, in grade school. The Franklin's house always felt like home to me. No judgement, no fear - just pure love. When Andrea messaged me in June, to see if I would photograph her dad's wedding to Barb, it was one of the greatest feelings I have ever had.
These two souls that decided to join together under God's grace, have experienced loss beyond what I can ever imagine. They lost the loves that gave them their beautiful children.
But what they found? That is equally as beautiful. They did not just find love. They found joy. They found grounding. They found a second lease on life. They found each other. They found healing. They found renewed strength in their relationship with God, the biggest foundation in both of their lives.
Watching them marry each other, while keeping their spouses' memories alive, helped me find renewed faith in the world. I cried along with my friends from childhood, and the strangers who felt instantly like home in the hour I spent with them, in their backyard, joining two families into one.
And the whole time, I felt those three energies, dancing about in happiness.
So many of us experience pain, and we all have a choice: to let that pain darken us and withdraw us from living; OR to let that pain soften us and allow the holes in our hearts to be filled with kindness, love, and compassion. They made a choice to be open to the happiness God made for them.
John and Barb, I am so grateful that you chose to let the love you experienced in your life to carry on, and give that love to each other. <3