Capturing 63 years of love in some amazing photos

When photographer Shalyn Nelson’s grandparents celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary she thought that she would do something special for them.

When photographer Shalyn Nelson’s grandparents celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary she thought that she would do something special for them. She used her talents as a photographer to show their amazing love for each other. As Shalyn told Fox News “They have taught me the true meaning of marriage. It’s worth fighting for. No marriage is perfect, and my grandparents will be the first to tell you that. But they never gave up. They never let their vows down. Ever…Only love matters at the end of this life, when all is said and done. Love always wins.”

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

A photo posted by Shalyn Nelson (@shalynnelson) on

“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

A photo posted by Shalyn Nelson (@shalynnelson) on

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! ❤️

A photo posted by Shalyn Nelson (@shalynnelson) on

What do you think of these photos? Would you love to do something like this for your parents or for yourself?