After emailing those five little words..."Are you all right Joe"...we started our relationship. After many emails, phone calls, and then visits...we decided to take a chance and get married. Our families were out of the nest and we both had a dog. With all our coincidences in our past...you know we would both have Spaniels. We knew that eventually we would have to get the two dogs together. I kiddingly told Joe, "If the dogs don't get along...this is over." So one day Joe brought his dog, Laddie, to visit my dog... Maggie. Maggie and I were looking out the window as they drove up the drive. He got out of the car, with Laddie on the leash. We decided to introduce them outside first, so Maggie wouldn't think he was taking over her domain. They nosed around each other, cautiously, and sniffed...as dogs do. They seemed so docile and gentle with each other. They both peed and we took them inside the house. After their leashes were removed...Laddie made a bee line to Maggie's food bowl and started eating. Mags just stood back and looked like she was saying, "What the heck?" Joe put the bowl on the counter and we went into the living room to visit, while the dogs were getting used to each other. Laddie sniffed every inch of the house, with Maggie following behind him. We let them out in the fenced in back yard and Laddie followed Maggie's little trail around the yard and Maggie followed. This first introduction went so well, that we planned to get together with them soon...only at Laddie's house. Our two houses are connected by just one highway. I left my house and went straight west on the highway and there was Joe's town. No turns in the road...just 40 min. of driving. When we approached the house, there was Joe in the yard with Laddie on the leash. We thought that we would repeat the way they first met. Maggie would have no part of it...she wanted to get in the house. Maggie and I went in first. I turned her loose and she rushed into the living room and marked her territory. Then down the hall and did the same. She marked her territory 3 times on that visit, with Laddie looking like he was saying, "What the heck?" I was so embarrassed. She was house broken and hadn't ever done that before. She had never been in a house other than hers...and I think she was nervous. Well, to make a long story short...she never did that again. By evening she and Laddie were lying by my feet next to each other. The two dogs got along so well, and we were free to get on with the marriage.
Sadly, our two pups weren't with us very long. Maggie had to be put to sleep at the age of 15 and Laddie followed at the age of 12. They both had been with us through our spouse's deaths and were our faithful companions. They had a few years together...playing in the yard, sharing birthday cakes, begging at the table, guarding our two doorways, enjoying popcorn night and just giving everyone unconditional love.
Joe proposed, kneeling on his good knee. Then we went to see my Dad and Joe told Dad that he wanted to marry me. After that visit my Dad cried...I thought he was crying because I was getting married...he said no..that he was so happy for me. He didn't want me to go through the rest of my life lonely...like he had been, after losing my Mom.
We planned a family and friends wedding at St. Thomas More Church in Elgin. Our old friends were our attendants. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful morning ceremony. As the organ played "Morning Has Broken" we went down the aisle and said our vows. We had a reception at a restaurant with all who attended the wedding invited. We are so blessed that we finally found each other. It might be that we had divine intervention. Our marriage hasn't been all peaches and cream, however. Getting used to a new partner after 46 years with another is really hard. Blending two grown families is difficult sometimes. We are both Aries and set in our ways. We've been through my brain surgery, and Joe's back surgery now. It seems that we've been tested and can relax a bit. The best part of our life together is always having someone to share with, someone to talk to, we share some of the same interests, we look out for each other, just having someone to say "Good Morning" to. We have come pretty far in our marriage. My advice for anyone contemplating a late in life marriage...get to really know each other before and then if you "fit"...go for it. Don't waste precious time...if you feel that you belong together. At our age...there might not be much time.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Hope your day is full of love.