Die aus Texas stammende Fotografin Shalyn Nelson wollte ihren Großeltern Joe und Wanda Nelson ein ganz besonderes Geschenk zum 63. Hochzeitstag machen: Ein Hochzeits-Fotoshooting!
"Dearest Wanda, it’s been a long time since I have written you a letter. I think it was when I was working in Canada, that I wrote you last. Anyway, I still love you just as much, probably more. The years have gone by fast. One morning you just wake up and you are OLD. Anyway, I wouldn’t trade them for all the gold in Alaska. We had 3 great kids and lots of fun raising them. Most of the time. We carried them to movies, playgrounds, swimming, ballgames, parties, etc. I wish that we could bring back some of those days. Now they have kids of their own which we have watched them grow, and some now with kids of their own. We must be real old. The days we had at the Freez-It at Fairfield and The Dixie Queen at Jewett and built the Rocket Drive-In with a 30’ rocket ship on the roof, those were the very hard years with lots of hard work and no vacations. I still worked my engineering job in Houston thru the week, and weekends at the drive-in businesses. Later, we got smart and got out of the drive in business. Later I retired, and we moved back to Jewett. We got into the ranching business. We made a lake and called it Hidden Lake Ranch. Found out that was a lot of hard work too. Now that we are in our Golden years, I think that we have turned to rust with all the Dr.’s we see. Anyway, I will close this letter to you saying I love you as much today as the day I married you. And just think, the license only cost $2.00. The best bargain I ever made. With all my love for you, Joe." Happy 65th Anniversary Mamaw and Papaw! I love you both so so so much! 💗 #lifegoals #lovemygrandparents #oldlove #oldlovebook #lovethenelsonsproject
Die beiden wurden gestylt, geschminkt und angezogen, anschließend wurden sie von der Enkelin abgelichtet: "Es war so süß zu sehen, wie nervös meine Oma war, als sie geschminkt wurde! Sie hat jede Minute genossen." Im Rahmen des Projekts bat Shalyn ihre Großeltern, Liebesbriefe aneinander zu verfassen und einander laut vorzulesen. Und diese Zeilen treiben einem wirklich das Pipi in die Augen: "Es ist schon sehr lange her, seitdem ich dir das letzte Mal einen Brief geschrieben habe", so Joes Worte an seine Wanda, "Ich liebe dich noch immer so wie damals, wenn nicht sogar mehr. Wenn man bedenkt, dass unsere Heiratslizenz damals $ 2 Dollar gekostet hat... Das war die beste Investition meines ganzen Lebens."
"Walking through life together... But the trail is getting short." - My Papaw, Joe R. Johnson I've been quiet around here lately. There are many reasons, but most importantly, I've been a ball of stress and nerves because my Papaw went back into the hospital last week. On Thursday, we were told that he wouldn't make it through the night. Oddly enough, I got this news right after I watched Miracles in Heaven. (You should watch it if you haven't!) My Mom tried to prep me for the inevitable because he's been in and out of the hospital a lot these past few months and hasn't got any better. I decided to be stubborn, naturally, and forced myself to stay positive and hopeful through many tears that took over my face when she told me things weren't looking good. I got off the phone and I went to my knees and prayed hard for God to give my Papaw strength more than I think I ever have before. And here we are, a week later, and the man is still fighting. The Dr.'s performed a heart ablation surgery on Friday that they didn't think he would be strong enough to make it through. But he did. He has fluid on his lungs and his kidneys are slowly starting to fail because of all the medications, but he's still fighting. Because he's a bad ass. 😎 As you know, this man means the world to me. So when I saw that @buzzfeed featured my grandparents today on their blog... My heart swelled. The timing could not be more perfect. It's such a beautiful reminder to us all. Because when our lives want to fail us... in the end, the only thing that matters and remains is love. Head on over to check it out. Link is in my profile. ❤️ And please keep my grandparents in your prayers if you can. My Mamaw hasn't left his side. #lovethenelsonsproject #oldlovebook #ohwowyes
Auf die Frage, warum sie dieses Projekt gestartet hat, antwortete Shalyn: "Ich möchte den Menschen zeigen, dass wahre Liebe immer noch existiert. Es gibt so viele Liebesgeschichten da draußen! Und am Ende eines Lebens zählt immer die Liebe. Liebe gewinnt immer." Und damit sollte sie recht behalten...
Wow. Just wow. I'm pretty sure this photo describes how my grandparents and I have felt these past 48 hours. I have been everywhere on the emotional scale: from feeling my heart beat outside of my chest, to shedding tears, to laughs, and of course, there have been some very big smiles. I don't know how to express how I truly feel, but I wanted to first say hello to all of the new faces around here who have taken the time to comment, share their love, their stories, and most of all your prayers. I have read every. single. one. After @buzzfeed shared my heart and my grandparents shoot, I haven't been able to even process the kindness and love we have been shown. It truly blows me away. There is so much good in the world...full of good, good people. I know it's been hard to see it lately in the news, but I can truly attest to this. The magnitude of the reaction we have been blessed with has come down to one thing for us... and that is Him! Glory to God! I have no doubt in my mind that He has had a huge hand in this all with the timing of my Papaw's health. And the prayers have been heard. My Papaw is not out of the woods yet...but he is on the mend. I know the power of prayer from all of you made this happen. Words will never do justice for the amount of gratitude I have for y'alls support. Some of you have been there every step of the way, and some of you just started following my journey for my #lovethenelsonsproject. Regardless, y'all have my back, given me encouragement when I needed it, and have even been frustrated when I got busy and let my project sit aside while life got in the way... Which in turn, fueled my fire. My heart, sweat and tears behind this project are very real and just knowing I have support from old friends, and new (hi guys!!!) makes this that much more special. I'm in awe of the blessings in my life and that includes YOU. So basically, what I'm saying is THANK YOU. I hope to create something beautiful for y'all and promise to make this happen. No matter what. Stay tuned! I promise it will be worth it! Sending so much love and the biggest freaking hugs I have y'alls way! ❤️
Shalyn erhielt daraufhin nämlich einen Brief von einer Frau, die über das Internet auf ihr Fotoprojekt aufmerksam wurde. Sie schrieb ihr, dass die Ehe von ihr und ihrem Mann schon eine Weile nicht mehr gut lief und dass sie sogar über eine Scheidung gesprochen haben. Als sie Shalyns Fotos gesehen und ihrem Mann gezeigt hat, saß dieser stundenlang auf der Veranda, mit den Fotos in den Händen. Dann haben die beiden die ganze Nacht geredet, geweint und sich in den Armen gelegen - aufgrund des Fotoprojekts wollen sie ihrer 9-jährigen Ehe nochmals eine Chance geben. "Ich kann nicht glauben, dass ich dir diese Zeilen schreiben. Dir, der Fremden aus dem Internet. Aber ich muss dir das einfach sagen, weil du mit deinem Projekt Herzen und Ehen auf der ganzen Welt verändert hast. Ich kann dir gar nicht genug dafür danken, unsere Augen und Herzen geöffnet zu haben." Wenn das kein Happy End ist!
I'm sitting in bed bawling right now. My dogs are looking at me like I'm crazy. And it's not because I feel like a mix between a stuffed burrito and a whale. 😂 I've been anxious about sharing so much, but THIS made my whole day. Week. Month. Year. Life? I just got this in my inbox: "Dear Shalyn, I know you don't know me but I wanted to reach out to you and thank you for sharing your project, and your grandparents love with the world. I felt compelled to write because what you don't realize is that you have blessed me and my marriage this week. My husband and my marriage has been on the rocks for the past year now or so. We have done therapy, we have exhausted ourselves to try and "make it work" but have been failing to save our marriage (of 9 years). Last week, we spoke about a divorce. I know he wanted it, I thought I wanted it too and it seemed like that was the only option left to give us relief and happiness. Then I saw your grandparents story. The images made me cry and then I read your Papaw's letter. I googled your name and found your blog post that shared your heart and the reason for the shoot. I then read through the hundreds of comments and not ONE was negative. How? Especially in this day. Because people needed this in this dark world. I needed this.I dropped to my knees and asked God for forgiveness right then and there. I showed my husband the photos when he got off of work, and asked him to read your words... He walked outside and sat in silence on the porch for a good while. That night we held each other and cried. We talked for hours (without fighting!) and though we have a lot to work on... I wanted to let you know that you have inspired us to give our marriage another shot. I can't believe I'm writing you, this stranger on the Internet. However, you need to know because you're changing hearts and marriages around the world. I know it. I can't thank you more for opening our eyes and inspiring our hearts. May God bless you and your grandparents." 😭😭 No words. Praise Him. Always. And Always. And Always. #lovewins #lovethenelsonsproject #oldlovebook