Love Month – February 14

I love a good love story.

When I’m sitting with a table of couples that I don’t know well (or even sometimes when I do), often my “go to” question is “How did you meet?” (Note: Introverts typically have “go to” questions to avoid the threat of the dreaded small talk where they are apt to crash and burn.)

As you can imagine, I have gotten answers that melt my heart with the sweetness of their love story to those that make me laugh at how it was a miracle they ever got together, to those that make me blush because, well…it was quite the story.

Or the stories that make the couple blush as they tell them, usually because they met online. Typically they have agreed to a fake meeting story they are supposed to use, but one of them spills the truth. As someone who has several amazing friends meet the love of their life this way, I can’t see why anyone should be embarrassed about it. You wanted to find someone, they wanted to find someone, and there was this database….

My own parents met on a rainy night in Wales, my mom and a friend headed to a dance the next town over. My mom correctly sized up my Dad as someone to be trusted. Maybe because he was an American in the Air Force with kind eyes. He and his friend gave them a ride out of the rain. My mom still has the scarf she was wearing.

Their first date was in a graveyard. Mom says walking around reading tombstones is romantic, and I am inclined to agree with her. They only had two more dates before they got engaged, one more before the Air Force sent Dad home. No extensions allowed for love.

My mom left her life in Wales shortly after and moved to the United States to marry Dad. The wedding happened on her 19th birthday at my grandparent’s house in North Carolina. Only my grandparents and the pastor and his wife attended. There are no pictures of that day (no one thought about it), but my Mom still has the turquoise and white embossed dress that she wore. I grew up marveling at its beauty.

They were married one month short of sixty years when my Dad died in 2016. A great love story that produced five exceptional children (đŸ˜‰), and the next generations of grandchildren and great-children.

Do you remember the movie “Love Story”? It came out in 1970 and I went to see it in the theater. I remember I fought to see it, and as an adult I guess I understand why my mother thought my 10-year old self was too young. But since my best friend Carole’s mother said she could go see it, she finally agreed. And we loved it.

There’s a line in there “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Gee that sure is a good movie line, but even at ten I knew it was stupid. Love especially means you need to say you’re sorry. Too often people forget what made them fall in love, hurt each other, and are too stubborn to admit they’re wrong. That’s been the ending of many love stories. Thankfully many more have learned to put the work and humility into the relationship as necessary.

On this Valentine’s Day, I wish for you a sweet remembrance of your own love story, or if yours has not yet been written, those of the others in your life. (Feel free to share your favorite story in the comments.)

I love a good love story, because they are the sparks that put the light in many an eye and led to the creation of many of us.

“True love stories never have endings.” – Richard Bach

My parents, around 1957