A Love Story on Valentine's Day Many years ago, there was a tall, handsome Irishman who was courting his lady friend. They loved to walk. Walking over the hills and in the dales was most pleasant to both of them. Oftentimes he would tell her of his home town across the sea in Ulster and he would talk often all about the wee loughs where he loved to just sit and day dream (and do some fishing!). She would tell him of her favorite places in Ontario as well and in time, they both realized that they were interested in the similar things. They both loved to discuss scripture together and share their love for their Lord Jesus Christ. On one walk, as her skirt and crinolines swished back and forth, he tenderly took her hand in his and gently squeezed it. They had been walking all evening. On and on they walked, he holding her hand in his. At one lovely place, he decided that they should stop and rest awhile. She drank in the beautiful view of the blue-green hills in the distance. He didn't want to let go of her hand and then their gazes met and as she looked into his blue eyes, she knew she loved him. He asked her if she would "come to his wedding." What a different way this Irishman had of proposing to her, she thought. She, being in a playful mood, asked if he would like her to be the organist at his wedding. "No," he replied. "Bridesmaid?", she asked. "No". "Maid of Honour?" "No" "Soloist?" "Well,. . . maybe". . . He then told her that it was the Bride at his wedding that he wanted her to be! Thinking she wasn't at all as pretty as she should be in his eyes, she expressed these feelings to him that lovely autumn evening whereupon he started to sing to her an Irish song of the early 1800's with the most beautiful words she had ever heard.Believe me if all thoseEndearing young charmsWhich I gaze on so fondly todayWere to change by tomorrowAnd fleet in my arms,Like fairy gifts fading awayThou would'st still be adoredAs this moment thou artLet thy loveliness fade as it willAnd around the dear ruinEach wish of my heartWould entwine itselfVerdantly still.
He only sang the first verse to his young maiden 46 years ago and when he finished singing, I said, "Yes, Jack, I will be your bride." And he also held me to my promise that I would sing at his wedding! Here is the second verse:It is not while beautyand youth are thine own And thy cheeks profaned by a tear That the ferver and faithof a soul can be known To which time will butmake thee more dear No the heart that has truly loved Never forgets But as truly loves on to the close As the sunflower turnson her god when he sets The same look which she'd turnedwhen he rose.
All this took place in September 1960 and we had been courting since shortly after he stepped off the ship (Cunard Liner Sylvania) arriving in Canada from Northern Ireland in early July. He saved his money carefully and it was on an elevator somewhere between the 5th and 15th floor in a huge office building in Toronto that he gave me a beautiful engagement ring on February 14th, 1961 after a courtship from July 1960 and we married on May 20th, the same year. And we were still in love....as much as we were back then in 1961, when Jack was promoted to Glory on January 10, 2001!19612000