Happy Valentines Day! My Love Story

14 02 2008

My husband has always been good about remembering our anniversary and Valentine’s Day.  This morning I woke up to find a beautiful card and a box of Chocolates on our desk.  We’ve been married for 33 years.  I have boxes and bags full of special cards that Jim has made for me.  Most of the time, he creates his own cards.  For about five years,(2000 to 2205) I woke up to find some kind of a card each morning.  After he got sick in 2005, he has not kept that pattern up.  However, he always tells me each day how much he loves me.  That is pretty good –considering how long we’ve been married.

I was twenty years old the first time I met my future husband.  My mother and I had taken the bus to Birmingham, Alabama.  I was ready to start my first semester at a Bible college in Birmingham.  It was the winter term.  Mom had already checked into a hotel.  I was busy meeting the girls in my dorm suite.  ( There were eight girls to a suite)  I particularly bonded with one girl named Linda. ( I was a bridesmaid in her wedding–which was the day before my wedding.)

A few nights later , as I was sitting down to a table in the cafeteria, I noticed a very handsome guy making flirtations with each of the girls at my table.  He completely ignored me.  Obviously, he knew that I had just enrolled at the college.  However, he chose to ignore me.

Having been ignored–I just sort of forgot about ever having met Jim.  The girls at my table told me that he was no longer a student at the college.  He was working full time for a Christian printing company.  Throughout the semester I noticed that Jim always came to the college for special events. 

In the fall, Jim enrolled once again as a full time student.  Once again I noticed how handsome he was.  He seemed to have so much confidence and polish.  I developed a crush on him.  Jim just went about his way, never noticing me at all. Then one day in early December of l972, Jim followed me to the library.  He asked me to the formal Christmas dinner.  Naturally, I was elated and surprised. I wondered: “How could he ignore me totally and then ask me to a formal dinner?”

It was hard to keep my mind on my studies.  Bible college is not just a little Sunday school.  We had a great deal of reading to do in addition to our regular assignments.  At least six research papers a semester was normal.  To top it off– in my Old Testament Survey course, we had memory verses each week.  The professor could decide to use  any of the verses we had started learning from the beginning of the semester.  With finals ahead, he told us to know all forty something verses because he would use any of the verses for the final.  I’m not good at memorizing anything.  I completely lost all my common sense and thought only about the Christmas dinner.

I bought a beautiful black velvet dress for the occasion.  That evening I was floating on air.  We double dated with one of Jim’s buddies from the Air Force.  He, like Jim, at enrolled at the college.  After the dinner , we went to a beautiful park in downtown Birmingham and just walked around.  We had a fabulous conversation.  I knew that I wanted to continue to date Jim.

Jim had other thoughts.  He played hard to get from January through March.  He made himself totally unavailable to me.  He even asked my closest friends out for dates.  It crushed me .  I didn’t keep up with my studies the way I should have.  In April of 1973, once again he asked me to  a formal event.  I couldn’t figure Jim out.  However, I went again to a lovely formal dinner.  Again, I picked out another beautiful evening gown. 

He began to ask me to attend church with him .  There was always a resistance on his part to become more than just friends.  Finally, I told him that I wasn’t interested in just being his buddy.  Again, he cooled towards me.  I decided to stay in Birmingham the summer of l973.  I got a job at the school, cleaning the dormitories.  I sub-leased an apartment in the married couples dorm.  Another girlfriend shared it with me. 

Jim was coming to see us often.  I liked to cook for him.  I just couldn’t get past this wall that he had created towards me.  Finally, in July he told me that he realized that he did love me.  We officially became a team.  We dated all through the fall term of l973.  Around Thanksgiving, he came home with me and asked my mother for my hand.  We were officially engaged. 

However, the school was very old fashioned.  Jim and I had to get letters from our parents to present to the dean of students before we could announce our engagement on campus.  Jim was already 27 years old.  I was almost 22 years old.  I look back though with happiness that we experienced some old fashioned discipline.  It certainly didn’t hurt us.

We married in May of l974.  I had finished a three your course of study in Bible and theology.  Jim still had one year left to finish he B.A. in Pastoral theology.  We decided to have our children early in our marriage.  Ben was born in l975,  Sandy followed in l976.  Maria was born in l978 and finally Vera arrived in l979,  We were teased a great deal.  My mother was horrified that I had four children so close together.  She worried about me constantly.

Marriage has not always been wonderful for us.  We went through a crisis when all of our children became teenagers.  Jim has told me that he never questioned that our marriage would last.  I did question how our marriage could last– a great deal.  We used to have terrible arguments about the children during their teen years.  Somehow, by God’s grace we passed through that terrible era.

Today, we enjoy a wonderful marriage.  And the little Baptist church we were married at in Birmingham, Alabama is now a Christian Orthodox church.  We found that out just a year ago after we converted to the Christian Orthodox faith. 

In May, we will have our 34th anniversary.  We enjoy our grown children and our two little grandsons so much.  Our children have become more like friends.  We are very blessed.

I hope you enjoyed my love story!

God bless each of you!

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12 responses

14 02 2008
shadowlands1501

Playing hard to get paid off for Jim…it is a wonderful love story and better yet, it is still a love story tried, tested and true…Happy Valentine’s to you both….

15 02 2008
nichole3

I always appreciate your kind comments, Shadowlands. God’s peace to you, this day and always.

Nichole

15 02 2008
operationmeaning

It was wondeful reading your story. I didn’t even know about many of those details! How come you didn’t tell me? Shame on you! 🙂

Love,
baby #4

15 02 2008
nichole3

Baby #4,
I thought for sure that I’ve told these stories many times. Glad you enjoyed the story!

Love,
Mom

15 02 2008
spillay

Nicole3. I love this post. Your love story is such a beautiful one 🙂 Have a great Valentine’s Week !!

Spillay xx
http://spillay.wordpress.com

16 02 2008
nichole3

Good to hear from you Sillay. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.

Your friend,
Nichole

16 02 2008
Shadowlands

Nicole3
I just finished reading the Vera chonicles and discovered you and I share much in common in age and in adventure during those years. Maybe we were fearless, or maybe we were just ignorant of what could happen, but somehow, we made great leaps of faith in life and lived…( my first husband and I did something simular in that we sold out everything and moved to Florida.{I was driven by a mission that flew supplies to Haiti} We lived in a tent for the first month. We discovered Palmeto was a swamp (explains the mosquitos) and I spent days so afraid that we would never find a good place to live.) Prayer and friends, like you, were our saving grace. God provides, both then as now, for us…”He is too kind to be so cruel” has become my life motto…
Can’t wait for the next chapter…maybe there will be more paralle’s, it will be interesting….

16 02 2008
nichole3

Shadowlands,
You are more than kind to read my little stories. We had a lot of raw faith in those days. I took leaps that I would not take today. Maybe that is part of our youth. Anyway, we survived. And it looks like you survived your adventure to Florida. Thanks again for your friendship. I’m slowly working my way through your archives, too.

Nichole

17 02 2008
David Web

That Is a wonderful and ongoing love story Sis. You and JIm have been an inspiration to many others sldo, of that I’m sure.

I never will forget riding down with Uncle Jack, Brad, and Mother, with Jack chain smoking most of the way in the air conditioned car. That was my first trip to Birmingham.

Little Brother

17 02 2008
nichole3

Wonderful memories! As always, I appreciate your imput on my blog.

Love,
Sis

17 02 2008
Roads

That’s such a romantic story, Nichole. Thank you for sharing.

Birmingham, England, was the nearest big city when I was growing up in Stratford-upon-Avon. Many of the people I know there still call it by its alternative name of Brummagem, a once pejorative but now generally good-natured reference to the city’s grimy past in the dark days of the Industrial Revolution.

The city has improved dramatically in recent years, and is postively sparkling these days. A small part of history still lives on in that natives of the city are always referred to as ‘Brummies’ and never as ‘Birmies’, and they likely always will be.

17 02 2008
nichole3

Roads,
It is always good to hear from you. Glad you liked my story. Yes, I’ve heard about Birmingham, England and the term “Brummies”. That is wonderful that you grew up in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Birmingham, Alabama is called “The Magic city”. It was a delightful place to live for 13 years of my life.

Thanks for dropping by,
Nichole

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