Be Mine, part 4


There was a weekend of quietness, of deep thinking. Those fears she had… if he really thought about how old she was, nearly 24, heavens! he would rethink his request to court her.

It was an irrational fear. She should have known him well enough to know he didn’t make impulsive decisions, but of all the things they had talked about after hours at school, they had never discussed marriage. That would have been too weird. When he assured her that marriage really was in his dreams too, and that she fit into them like she was created for the part, she was almost giddy with relief. She no longer thought of him as too young, but of herself as too old. He didn’t care a fig.

All right then! How about a date at Red Lobster? Sure. Tomorrow night.

She ordered the coconut shrimp, he got fish. Cheddar bay biscuits became for them the food of delight. They talked and listened and lingered so long that the waitress seemed unsure what to do with them. When the coconut shrimp were barely touched an hour into the meal, she asked if everything was all right. Oh yes, they said. Just more water, please. Eventually they left with most of the meal in a take-out box. She shrugged. Communication was more important than food, apparently.

It was important not to let the romance overshadow the work at school. They tried hard to stay as neutral as possible while the students were around, but as soon as the last one was out the door, the tea got brewed and the day got hashed over with the frankness of best friends rapidly turning into lovers. The upper grade teacher was engaged to his girlfriend, and all around there were a lot of heads in the clouds those days.

Her siblings rolled their eyes and trotted out those strong-minded phrases she used to say. The girl just laughed because she knew better now. They said she was sunk. She agreed and swallowed her words cheerfully. A friend suggested that it was just proximity, after all, that causes so many to fall in love. Well, thank God for proximity, she said, because she believed with all her heart that this particular case was arranged by Providence.

It was an exhilarating time. Soul mates, that is what they felt they were discovering about each other. They were definitely traveling the same direction! Made for each other! Love covered them in a blanket of bliss. It wasn’t that they were just infatuated, forging ahead. It was the joy of feeling the smile of God on them, His fingerprints on their story. They already had a strong groundwork laid. She knew what he believed and how he responded to life. He knew the things that she carried in her heart, how she wanted to live. They had similar backgrounds. There simply were no huge hurdles.

Six weeks of this brought them to a sunny evening in June, sitting on the porch of the family camping cabin, the sun slowly sinking toward the horizon. “Is there anything else you want to talk about?” he asked. “Because I have something on my mind yet… Will you marry me?”

“Yes! Yes, I will!” she said once she recovered from her surprise. There may be some details that would bore the general public, but that is the path that they walked from being two to becoming one.

The wedding day was just a few months more than a year after she had shown him those stacks of text books in the school closet. He was 20, she was 24. They came back from their honeymoon pretty much broke, moved into a little grey house, and had a bunch of babies. It hasn’t always been “happy ever after” but you didn’t expect that, did you?  Of course, they discovered some discrepancies, such as his preference for mayo instead of Miracle Whip, her aversion to onions that he ate in great raw slabs on butter bread, the temperature in the car, and a few things of more consequence. The promise was to love ever after. It has been a journey they have never regretted and they certainly hope to be granted the privilege to grow old together.

Want to see their engagement photo?




18 thoughts on “Be Mine, part 4

  1. I laughed…..and enjoyed it again:). P. S. You look SO innocent…. Haha as we all do on our engagement pics😁

  2. I don’t know which I’ve enjoyed more- the story or the comments. Who knew that a courtship story from little old Bedford could be so fascinating?! 😀

    1. I have been astounded. While our story may have been a little unorthodox at the time, it was quite tame. Little old us. Would you like to do a guest post? I am sure it would boost my stats.

        1. Bawahaha, ladies. Nice try! (Have you ever noticed that our story is peculiarly among the missing in that courtship book?) 😉

          1. I wrote that before I even saw Elizabeth’s comment! We think our story is QUITE special and unique (just like us) but publishing it is just not something we have felt led to do. Maybe someday for the grandkids, eh… 😀

  3. I pondered your old age the whole way through your post, then snorted the picture of your little baby faces rolled into view. Thanks for the story, and thank you for not dragging it out over weeks. A day between installments was about all I could handle.

  4. I sit here and smile and smile. The story is beautiful, and wonderful and real. It utterly blessed me. I remember hearing about you two, and that you went to Red Lobster for dinner. Having never yet been to Red Lobster or even knowing what it was, I found it to be an astoundingly odd place for a first date. (my world was still so small) I really hardly know Gabe at all. I have only met/seen him a handful of times.

  5. What a delightful story to be allowed a peek into. I wish it it took the place of ours in that little courtship stories booklet. I mean, our story is wonderful, but writing it for print less than a year into marriage means it sounds so very….immature, among other things. My teenage daughter reads it with shock and amazement and wonders who that person is? I love your seasoned, heartfelt love story. I love the mystery of marriage as life changes, and we change, and love keeps taking on new expressions and much deeper meaning. I celebrate true love with you, the kind that endures. My family got a laugh out of the idea of a bacon rose, and I thought a lot this Valentine’s Day how glad I am that we celebrate our unique relationship and don’t need to do what anybody else thinks is romantic.

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