This story has been told almost as many times as the “engaged in four days” story through the years.
You flew home on Friday, September 3. Your flight landed at 3:30. When you saw me, you handed me a barf bag. I thought you used it for trash and began to drop it in the trash can. You said, “Oh, no, that’s not trash,” in quite a calm manner and told me that my ring was in there. You thought that was hilarious. I, in turn, through that yelling or creating a scene might have been called for as I almost threw away such a priceless treasure. Yet, this was part of your sense of humor.
I immediately opened the bag and put the ring on without giving yo a chance to do the get down on one knee thing. Yet, that was never your personality anyway. You were quietly romantic!
I always thought the timing of this visit was special. You had written, “Which weekend in September would you like me to come home?” I, of course, said the first one, so you made that happen. I was convinced from the very beginning that you could do anything. You were my Superman.
We had set the date for August 20, 1983, at this time to give me time to finish the Summer semester at ACC. Now, to explain why I went to ACC because it is all about us. In the very beginning, I wanted to go to Harvard. My group of nerdy friends from high school decided to all apply to Harvard to see who could get in, first, then who could get the most in scholarships. I got in, but the cost was still going to be more than Mom and Dad could afford even with scholarships. The next choice was Mount Vernon Nazarene College with Jim and a bunch of other friends from church. I applied and was even assigned a room-mate that I had already met when we went up for the regional choral competition held at Mount Vernon as that was the regional college for the Nazarene church. Yet, this was in late Spring 1982 during the school year – before I met you.
When I met you, everything changed. We fell in love so quickly that I wanted to spend as much time with you as possible. If I was at Mount Vernon, you couldn’t visit because I would be in a dorm and Public Displays of Affection (PDA) were frowned upon at Mount Vernon. So, I instantly made a decision to stay home and go to ACC. This was actually good for all. It would be much less expensive for Mom and Dad; I would be home with the family longer before we married; and I could be with you more.
You came into my life and transformed both me and it. I, all of the sudden, had confidence that I never had before. I was never the same after I loved you. You made me better! And, you always said the same thing. We were a great team!!
We spent these few days just being together. We loved going to the movies and stopping at Baskin Robbins just a few stores down from the cinema in the strip mall on U.S. 60 toward downtown. The cinema is still there in 2021. You had to fly back on Sunday. Your flight left at 3:30, which gave us exactly three days together.