Last week this photo of a wife carrying her Marine husband was all over the internet, and like most people, I was drawn to it. It’s amazing how one picture can speak volumes about the love between two people. It warms my heart when I see their happy smiles.
This photo made me think of my aunt and uncle's love story. I’ve known bits and pieces of their history for a while, but it wasn’t until my mom visited this summer that I learned how beautiful their story really was.
There are lots of reasons I feel connected to my aunt and uncle. They were my godparents. I stayed at their house a lot when I was little, and they were wonderful to me. I have many fond memories of them from my childhood. But as often happens, I went off to college, got married, and spent less time with my extended family.
Oddly enough, moving 706 miles away from my family brought my aunt and uncle back into my life. My husband accepted an internship only 20 minutes from my aunt’s hometown. It was great having my aunt and uncle come visit us a few times over the years, and that’s when I first started hearing stories about how the met and what their courtship was like.
My uncle, a good old Southern boy from Arkansas, joined the Marines when he was just shy of turning eighteen, and he was sent to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin for training. One day he met my aunt who was visiting a town close to the base, saw stars, and asked her on a date. The only problem was she lived about an hour from the base and my uncle didn’t have a car, but that didn't stop him. He hitchhiked 61 miles one way to take her to a little diner. Problem number two, he didn’t make much money as a soldier, so he had her order first before deciding what he should get. My aunt asked for a burger, fries, and a shake. My uncle said he’d just take a water. (My aunt still blushes over their first date even though it's many years later.)
They became engaged before my uncle was sent to Korea and planned to marry when he returned. I know a little about his experiences overseas, but only through my mom. He lost both legs in the war after a harrowing ordeal. The only reason he probably made it back home was because the opposing Army thought he was going to die from his injuries and left him alongside the road instead of taking him prisoner.
This summer my mom told me that my uncle called my aunt from one of the military hospitals soon after the double-amputation and said, “I understand if you don’t want to go through with the wedding now.” To which my aunt responded, “If you think you can get out of marrying me, C.W., you’ve got another thing coming.” I’m not saying their marriage was always smooth sailing. Choppy waters happen. But they had a pretty good life. They had two children, built a business together, took many trips, and my aunt could order as many burgers, fries, and shakes as she wanted without ever worrying her hubby would have to go hungry.
My uncle has been gone almost three years now, and I think of him often. I’m so grateful I had that time with my aunt and uncle getting to know them in a way I never did as a kid. It wasn’t until I saw the picture of the young couple that I really thought about what my aunt and uncle went through at a young age and how their love not only survived, it grew stronger.
They set a good example of what it means to really love another person. I hope my husband and I see as many years together as they did. We aren’t quite gaining on them yet, but today is our 17th wedding anniversary and I see many more in our future. So, if everyone will bear with me, I'd like to wish a happy anniversary to my husband. I can't imagine traveling this life journey without you, Mr. G! Thanks for making it so much fun. I love you.
|My favorite t-shirt hubby bought me. Perfect for a romance author, isn't it?|
In honor of my anniversary, I'm giving away one of my favorite love stories from my Beau Monde Bachelor series: MISS LAVIGNE'S LITTLE WHITE LIE (US and Canada only. Please leave your email address if you want to be included in the drawing.)
Dear readers, do you know any inspiring real
life love stories?
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