My Aunt came into town for one quick day and brought with her piles of my Grandmother's recipes!
But she also brought something that I hardly have the words to describe.
It is a notebook that my Grandmother filled every page, in detail,
with all of her dreams for a perfect life.
House, furniture, dishes, clothing for every season, food, table linens, baby clothes, nursery plans...
everything is spelled out in vivid detail, including precisely cut out pictures from magazines.
Not one of the pictures has a frayed edge.
There are no ripples from the glue she used!
Her cursive writing with a liquid ink pen is beautiful and without mistake.
The whole book is remarkable.
We read through this book, shocked at the painstaking detail, "2 red bracelets on one arm," to be worn with the blue dot dress.
We're guessing she wrote this book sometime in the late 1930's, before she was married or had children because who would have time for such a thing with a new baby!!!
The pages tell of a young girl's dream for an ideal life.
They allow for a peek into one girl's hopes and wishes of exactly what her life should look like.
The pages intrigued me.
They caused me to laugh at the once esteemed fashions.
And they made me cry.
My Grandmother's life was not at all this dreamy.
I've learned things of her life that are far too personal to share, but I know with confidence they were never part of her "Perfect Honeymoon" or life.
Last Friday, my husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary.
I posted a picture of us going out with the caption:
"This is what 20 years looks like. 9 years of dreaming, wishing, hoping... 11 years of living the dream! (And digging our heels in!)
For 9 years, since the day I saw this man, I dreamed of him.
We dated off an on (mostly off!), but no matter what our status, I dreamed of him.
And in my dreams, I only saw the good things, the great things, the perfect things.
I romanticised his faults and to me, he was my ideal.
After our final break-up, and when I finally dreamed of him no more, that was when he crept back into my life and wooed me and pursued me.
This time I saw his faults, and chose to marry him anyway.
It's been 11 years.
There have been many moments that I would have never eloquently written about in a book with perfectly pasted pictures. There have been many season that were dreadful and more like nightmares than dreams.
But in these 11 years I've slowly thrown out the pages of my book that held impossible dreams, unattainable perfections, and unrealistic hopes.
I've settled into the truth of forgiveness and redemption and how, only by God's grace and mercy, I can say that I love this man with all of my heart and come what may, I'm going to dig my heels in and fight to keep my vows.
True love is about seeing someone, with all their faults and flaws, and choosing to love them anyway.
It's a choice.
I'm grateful that he still chooses me!