Will You Marry Me?

1977 – that’s 36 years ago.  Much has changed in those 36 years.

Most of the change occurred because of a question a young man asked me and the answer I gave him.

I was 19 years, one month, and 7 days old when I made a decision and uttered a word that would change the course of my life forever.

The word was, “Yes.”

The question the young man asked me was, “Will you marry me?”

Of course, it didn’t happen that quickly.  There was a little more to it that the quick question and immediate answer.

We attended the same college and were in several classes together.  We became friends and that friendship eventually led to a dating relationship, which led to the question he asked me 36 years ago.

It was a Saturday. Our ministry group had completed the service at a local nursing home. He and I were the first to arrive at the college service van and we claimed the back seat.

Before the others arrived, he took my hand and turned to me.

“What would you say if I asked you to marry me?” he asked.

I teasingly responded, “Why don’t you ask and find out?”

And, so he did ask.

“Will you marry me?”

And, I said, “Yes!”

We attended a private college with rules that prohibited hand holding, hugs, kisses and other physical demonstrations of affection between dating students. We weren’t even supposed to be alone together.

So, all he could do was quickly squeeze my hand, offer a smile and “thank you!” as the others joined us for the ride back to campus.

We kept our engagement secret for several weeks.  He wanted me to have a ring before we went public. The semester was winding down and activities there on campus were as well as we drew near to exams. It was hard to focus on studies when my mind preferred to focus elsewhere.

And, my hand developed this odd twitch that encouraged it to write his last name after my first name, instead of my own.

A simple question and a one word answer opened up a world I could only slightly imagine and opened doors to opportunities and growth that I never imagined possible.

Thank you, Sweetheart, for gathering the courage, for taking the risk, for asking me to spend the rest of my life as your wife.

I love you!  Happy Anniversary!

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