Dinner was enjoyed as a family (missing one - because she is visiting Nana and Papa). We laughed, instructed and ate. The older kids sat on the couch and read. The younger kids headed to bed at their normal time. Then 8PM arrived and all the kids were upstairs.
A quiet house greeted us. A small bouquet of wild flowers were setting on the table - for me - from him. Then the surprise unfolded.
Picture albums had been retrieved from the attic. Old video tapes of the kids found. They all were waiting - for us. A trip down memory lane.
We watched the TV screen as our little girl sang a song and danced around the room - in her long dress. You could tell by the way that she twirled and sang she thought at that moment, even though she was only 5, she was a fairy tale princess- eleven years later we still do.
We watched as our middle daughter blew out the birthday candles on her birthday cake and told us that she was three - trying as she pronounced the word to hold up three fingers. We smiled as she told what she was thankful for before she opened her presents, "For you, Mama, I'm fankful for you." How sweet her little voice sounded.
We watched as the pictures showed our third daughter's casket awaiting it's finally resting place. And, last night as we did almost 12 years ago when the photo was taken - we cried.
The tears turned back to smiles again as we watched a baby boy doing his best to stay sitting up, smile at the camera and say a very recognizable "Dada". Rob looked as proud of the proclamation last night as he had 11 years ago.
We watched our interaction as a couple - when we were struggling -just being together. Years later it still hurt - to know how much we were hurting then. How thankful we are that God brought the two of us back together and healed us. So thankful He made us realize that marriage - even through the hard times - is permanent.
We watched as Zak blew out his candles on his birthday cake. The evidences of autism were still there even at two - and I cried. Cried because I saw that he has come so far - and has so far yet to go.
We pulled out photos and laughed. Laughed at how young we looked. The engagement photos, the wedding, the honey moon. Life before kids - when we were still kids.
It was almost 2 AM when we put it away. Amazed at the (almost) 20 years we have been together. All that has happened. Amazed that when we did not know it - we were living our lives, making our stories. I pray that God gives us at least 20 more years.
As the lights were out and moonlight filled the room we talked about where we would be in 10 years. College - weddings - grand kids - young ones still at home. We dozed off thankful for the past - excited for the future.
(If 20 years from now we do this again - I can not imagine how long my post will be!)
Thanks so much for stopping by; I am so glad you did.