I dreamed about a woman once, an apparition I thought, like an Angel. The stuff of fiction novels and fairy tales, but I clung to the dream for fear of losing hope.

I didn’t lust after her body, adore her face, or covet her popularity. Those things can be deceiving, like the thinnest of veneers that easily peel away at the first test of character, or sign of hardship, or the inevitable better deal elsewhere. The woman in my dream stood courageous in the crucible of life, and the manner in which she did illuminated a much greater beauty that could be seen all the way to her soul.

She was honest. She was honorable. She had morals, principles, and values that she lived by. She knew what she wanted from life, and more so, she knew what she didn’t want. She was kind and loving. She was intelligent and humble and she held nothing back when she found love, unlike some that want to see the harvest before they’ll risk planting their seeds. She didn’t store boxes filled with past rights and wrongs. Instead, she understood human weakness and built confidence and security to strengthen it rather than chop away with criticism and judgment to weaken it further. She refused to let anyone take her smile away, or the kind and thoughtful words that came from it. The woman in my dream built up strangers, and friends, and loved ones, and mostly children and horses and dogs. She taught others to smile as beautifully as her own by her example. She never gave up on people she loved and she loved unconditionally. She was everything that mattered to me, everything I ever wanted, everything worth living for.

Then one day I met her, and she was immeasurably more.