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I have tried to sit down and write this story a hundred times, but every time I do it just sounds like any other love story. But that isn’t the truth. This story is special. This story is about two people who have loved each other more and more every day for forty years. It is a love story like no one has ever told. It is a story of love at first sight, soul mates, and happily ever after. It is about two people that love each other more than life itself. Yes, it is my story, but I am not kidding you when I say, it is a miracle love story!
When I was sixteen and working at the local Holiday Inn as a maid, I met, what I believed to be, the most perfect young man in the world. You could see in his brown eyes that he was different. He wasn’t like all the other boys I went to school with. He was loving, caring, kind…he had compassion, drive, he was motivated. The day I met him I told my friends that someday I would marry that young man. On the back of the door in the laundry room at Holiday Inn, I carved a heart and wrote Fred and Linda TLA (True Love Always).
It was two years later that Fred asked me out on a date! Finally! And what did I do, I said, “No.” We talked on the phone that night for at least two hours. We found out how much we really had in common. Hunting, fishing, camping, the outdoors. We talked and talked and talked. It seemed like we had been friends for years, but in the two years since the Holiday Inn, we rarely talked. During this conversation, I realized my love, at first sight, was real. He was the man of my dreams. The man I would marry. But had I just ruined it by turning him down on a date?
A week later I was at my friend’s house listening to music and her phone rings. She talks to the person on the phone for a few minutes and then hands me the phone and says, ”It’s for you.” Confused I said hello and there was that beautiful voice on the other end of the phone. Asking me out on another date! He says he and Al and Randy were going to the movies and asked if I wanted to go. At the time, I was very introverted, only went on one date in my life, broke out in a sweat when a boy even talked to me…and he wanted me to go to a movie with three guys. I couldn’t say no this time…he may never ask again.
He picked me up at my friend’s house and when I was getting in the car I was so relieved to find out that Randy, was a girl! We went to see the movie The Fury. Then we went to a restaurant to get a snack. I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat. He dropped off Al and Randy and then took me home. He walked me to my door and we kissed. The most wonderful kiss in the world. I was smiling inside and out. I knew this was love and I never wanted it to end.
After the date, I didn’t get a call. It was spring break so, I didn’t see him in school. I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. I was fine for the first week, then the second week came and went, with no call. I was sad. I remember sitting in my room singing, “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen. Finally, he called and asked me out again.
That was it, we dated for the remainder of my senior year. We went to prom and he came with my parents and me on our summer vacation. I will never forget the first time he said, “I Love You.” He gave me a beautiful gold heart locket, placed it around my neck and said, I Love You. Never in my young life was I this happy.
A little while later I discovered I was pregnant. When Fred found out, he said, “Well, I guess we are getting married sooner than I expected.” My heart was full. It was the longest three months of my life waiting to be with him every night and every day. I was 18, pregnant, and hormonal…and yet he was so kind and loving. I couldn’t wait to be his wife and start our family.
No one believed that our marriage would last. Can you blame them? We started dating in March, pregnant by July, married in October and a newborn the following March. But, when I looked in his brown eyes, the first day I met him, I knew I loved him and always would.
We were married, October 7, 1978. It was a small wedding and the reception was at my mom and dad’s house. My wedding gown cost $12, Fred’s mom made our cake, and our wedding rings cost $200 dollars. It was small, but perfect!
Life has been a crazy roller coaster of love for forty years. Every day, I love him more. I miss him when he isn’t around. Yes, at times he can make me angry or sad. Those times are rare and far between! Mostly, he just makes me feel loved, safe and cherished. Fred is my first love, my true love, my soul mate, my best friend, my lover, my everything!
This is my love story…it doesn’t sound like much, but it is truly amazing to me that I found my true love at the age of 16 (18 since we started dating, but I fell in love at 16). No matter how long I live or he lives it will never be enough time together. This is why I have faith! I can’t imagine that at death this love story will end. There has to be more…