Saturday, September 7, 2013

True Love Stories by Samantha Grace

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?

 Dear readers, do you know any inspiring real life love stories?  

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.)

To Connect with Samantha, you can find her at:



  1. Happy Anniversary, Samantha! 17 years is wonderful. I hope to someday have a love story just like your uncle's!!


  2. My grandparents were married for 65 years and my parents for over 50. My older sister has been married for 48 yrs. and my husband and I are going on 45. I guess it runs in the family lol.

  3. What a beautiful love story! Both of them! Husband and I just recently celebrated our 47th anniversary. I was a 17 year old Tex/Okie Rebel who got on a bus in Ardmore, Oklahoma (because they didn't have a bus that ran through Tishomingo) and went to Pennsylvania to marry a soldier coming home from Germany who I had never met in real person. Of course they said it would never last...a Rebel and a Yankee. 17 years old and just home from 28 months overseas. No need to even throw a wedding shower or buy a present. She'd be gone back to that gawdawful land she came from in six weeks at the latest. 47 years and a lot of love later...

  4. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I are almost to 15 and it has been a very bumpy road but we keep at.

    I LOVED your aunt and uncle's story. My maternal grandparents had a really sweet story, but nothing compared to that.

    My grandfather was in his last year of seminary and went to do his internship at the church my grandmother was a Sunday School teacher at. They fell in love and planned to have a big June wedding the following year, but my grandfather got offered a church to start at in January and the church board told him that he needed to be married before he came. My grandparents had a very simple ceremony on December 7th 1940 (a year before Pearl Harbor) much to the dismay of my grandmother's parents and her sister who refused to be a part of the wedding. My grandmother wore a beautiful wine colored velvet dress, which I now own and have worn for special occasions. Unfortunately, my grandparents were only married for just under 26 years when my grandfather passed away.

  5. Thank you, Anita. I feel lucky to have had a few great examples in my life. :)

  6. Catslady,
    That is awesome! I wish you and your husband many more years of being happily married. :)

  7. Carolyn,
    What a wonderful story! I'm curious how you knew him if you'd never met and how you knew you wanted to marry each other. :)

  8. Sarah,
    That is a very sweet story about your grandparents. And how special to have your grandmother's wedding gown! My grandmother had a beautiful evening gown with sort of a gold lace bodice and a red velvet shirt. I remember drooling over the dress when I was a tiny girl. I loved the feel of the velvet and would sit in the closet just so I could touch the dress. I wish I had it now. :)

  9. Happy anniversary and thank you for sharing both of those lovely examples of love and devotion. I follow the blog of one of our heroes who has sacrificed so much (he is a quad amputee) yet still travels around and helps others and serves as an inspiration to any of us who thinks our life is hard. My hubby couldn't believe that I wanted to split the meal when we went on our first date...but I couldn't see wasting his money when I knew I didn't eat much anyway so I couldn't see the point of ordering an entire dish of my own just to take the leftovers home...he said he knew I was a keeper right then, lol.

  10. I don't know any stories that are that inspiring personally, but I have seen another couple on the web that are similar to the couple you showed, only that young man, Taylor Morris, lost his arms as well. The devotion of his young lady inspires me so much, I would be so proud to be her parent or even friend.

  11. What a sweet story! I do love a story in which love prevails!

  12. Elf2060,
    Isn't it amazing what some people are capable of enduring with courage and such grace? It definitely makes me less inclined to wallow over my minor issues.

    You are very practical. I bet you husband was shocked. It's a running joke between my hubby and me that no one better mess with my food. LOL

  13. Barbara,
    That is a very inspiring story about love and devotion. :)

  14. Thank you, Amanda! I'm a sucker for happy endings too. :)

  15. Nice story. Don't really know any

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  16. Happy Anniversary, hope you have many more happy years! That was a beautiful story about your aunt and uncle. I'd love to be included in the giveaway.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

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  18. Happy anniversary, Samantha! My husband and I just celebrated our 41st. My parents were married for 60 years, and my in-laws have been married for 64 years.

    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

  19. Happy anniversary to you and your husband, Samantha! Here's to another 17 years and more :)

    I'm in awe of all the lucky people posting above me. I hope to get to that many years in love!

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

  20. Happy Anniversary, Samantha!!! Lovely story! :) My parents were married 46 years, before my dad succumbed to cancer. My mother was in the Army (getting her US citizenship earlier--she was Canadian) and my dad was on recruiting duty with the AF but stationed at Fort Sam also. This was back when the military personnel ran the post office and she was a postal clerk. Dad came to pick up a package from Mom. She mentioned she was from Beaverton, Oregon, where her dad had settled, and he was from Seattle, Washington...and that was all she wrote! Neither had met anyone from the Northwest in Texas...perfect beginning, happily ever after.

  21. Samantha, Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! Love the doughnut picture :-) My husband and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary this summer. Wishing you many more happy years!

  22. Thank you all for the wonderful anniversary well-wishes. I'm impressed with the number of years everyone has been married!

    I've chosen a name in a random drawing to receive a copy of MISS LAVIGNE'S LITTLE WHITE LIE. Congratulations to Anita H! I'll be sending an email your way soon. :)