Then, she hands me a Post-It note covered in pencil writing. She has the kind of penmanship I can only dream about.

She didn’t expect her life to turn out the way it did. She expected something else. Something mundane.

Let’s back up. She was past middle age, rounding the corner into old age when she met him.

She was a retired hairdresser. A faithful Methodist. Two daughters, a small home, and a Shih Tzu named Bill.

She met him in the doctor’s office. He was with his granddaughter. The little girl was the first to start the conversational momentum.

“Are you a grandmama?” the girl asked.

“Yes, I am,” she said.

That was the beginning of it all. Sometimes, it only takes a few words.

The three of them went to lunch that same day. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. The most fun she’d had in years.

He called and asked her to dinner the next night. She turned him down. It was more out of instinct than anything.

She’d always considered herself a married woman before.

She let a week pass before she called him. Her opening line was: “I changed my mind…”

So they went. She wore a pink suit. Her friend, Maria, teased her hair to perfection.

They ate at a nice place. They ordered wine—which went straight to her head. She told him about her life, her daughters, her grandchildren. And even though she didn’t mean to, she started talking about her late husband.

She caught herself. “I feel so embarrassed,” she said.

He told her not to be. Then, he talked about his late wife. About the stroke, about caring for her.

They stayed out until two in the morning.

And it was easy sailing from there. She took him to church. He brought her to his granddaughter’s musical. She cooked for him. He ate.

They announced they’d be having a ceremony in her backyard after four months of dating.

It was something to see. There was a preacher, fold-up chairs, a guitarist. It wasn’t a wedding. It was promises.

They moved into her place. The years that followed were traveling years. A cruise here. A trip there. They dressed up and went out. They took in movies. Weekends with grandkids.

She tells me they burned through a lot of money, but it was worth it. They brought each other coffee in bed. They helped with chores.

“We saved each other,” she tells me. “That’s how love works, you save each other.”

Nine years of happiness. That isn’t that long when you think about it.

She taps a picture on the wall. A man in the photo wears a straw hat and Hawaiian shirt. He’s got a friendly face.

He’s the one who brought her out of her shell. The one who reintroduced her to fun. He passed in the shower last August. Massive heart attack.

She mourns him every day. But, she wants you to know she’s not sad.

“How CAN I be sad?” she says. “He saved my life, and brought me joy. I won’t ruin that by being sad.”

Then, she hands me a Post-It note covered in pencil writing. She has the kind of penmanship I can only dream about.

She says: “You know how in your stories you always have a line at the end? If you write about me and Tom, I came up with a last line for your story. But you don’t have to use it.”

She writes:

“Love will find you, wherever you are.”

Happy early Valentine’s Day to those with, and to those without. And may love find you.

Wherever you are.

31 comments

  1. Linda Allen - February 13, 2018 7:38 am

    Another wonderful story, full of love and hope! Thank you…and may you and your wonderful wife have a Happy Valentines Day! ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  2. anne trawick - February 13, 2018 9:05 am

    If I don’t watch out, you’re going to turn me into a sentimental old fool. Happy Valentine’s Day to Jamie and you!

    Reply
  3. Rachel - February 13, 2018 10:42 am

    Tears again. Thanks for always speaking to my heart.

    Reply
  4. Shirley Northington (Skelton) - February 13, 2018 10:53 am

    Oh my, thank you and Happy Valentine’s day! My precious hisband and I also saved each other and married after just a few months. I didn’t realize that there would be so much more room for more love. We’ve had a “second first”!

    Reply
  5. Theresa Clark - February 13, 2018 11:12 am

    Wow. What a great story and such truth in how to look at a great love. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have, but what the Lord blessed you with. ❤️

    Reply
  6. SGM - February 13, 2018 11:48 am

    Just the message I needed today. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. janiesjottings - February 13, 2018 12:57 pm

    Happy Valentine’s Day Sean to you and your Jamie. This story really hits home for me. I feel like my life got started the day my husband and I got married forty four years ago.

    Reply
  8. Jan - February 13, 2018 1:11 pm

    Great story! As always!

    Reply
  9. judemiller1 - February 13, 2018 1:24 pm

    Sounds almost exactly like my story. I was 65 when Fred and I met. We only had 7 years, but I was so grateful to God for bringing us together, that I couldn’t be sad.

    Reply
  10. Judy Ennis - February 13, 2018 1:28 pm

    Sweet,sweet story.

    Reply
  11. Julia - February 13, 2018 1:36 pm

    With a tear in my eye and joy in my heart,thank you for making my day start off perfect.

    Reply
  12. Michael Bishop - February 13, 2018 2:01 pm

    Sweet. This is what happened for my mother, who, unlike in this story, did not outlive her late-in-life rescuer, but who did share her last two decades with him before dying in January 2013. The man who saved her, a veteran of the Pacific War and a golfer with a swing like Slammin’ Sammy Snead’s, only recently followed her, and he stayed in touch with us, remembering her, until he could no longer speak or even email. Thank you for writing this, Sean.

    Reply
  13. Sue Cronkite - February 13, 2018 2:08 pm

    Wonderful story. I almost had the same, except prescription drugs got him. The doctor kept upping the OxyContin dosage and turned him into someone I didn’t know — then he died.

    Reply
  14. Connie - February 13, 2018 2:16 pm

    Beautiful. Gives me hope that I will find someone, sometime.

    Reply
  15. Carey Amberger - February 13, 2018 3:34 pm

    Lovely, lovely.

    Reply
  16. Carol ann ROTHWELL - February 13, 2018 4:03 pm

    Love found me a long time ago for the second time..and left me 14yrs.ago.to cancer.
    I miss him so much..and now I’m too old and sick to have it again..But it is a Beautiful thing,when you do!
    Hope everyone gets to find Their Love!

    Reply
  17. KAREN - February 13, 2018 4:20 pm

    Sweet story with such feeling. Thank you for sharing.
    “Love will find you where ever you are”.

    Reply
  18. Kathy Phillips - February 13, 2018 4:23 pm

    I love the story. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  19. Jack Quanstrum - February 13, 2018 4:25 pm

    🙂

    Reply
  20. sandra vinson - February 13, 2018 4:38 pm

    sooooo sweet

    Reply
  21. theholtgirls - February 13, 2018 5:01 pm

    Please tell her, “Thank you, Ma’am!”? No one, wherever they are, is somewhere that love cannot find them.
    Happy Valentine’s Day, Sean! You share a lot of love!

    .

    Reply
  22. Sara Moseley - February 13, 2018 6:14 pm

    A good writer can make you cry. A great writer can make you laugh and cry. The fact that you can do both all in the span of a single page is nothing short of a God-wrought miracle. Caught your show in Decatur a week ago and signed up for your blog shortly after. I’ve been delighted by every story since, and this one was equally wonderful. My Aunt Cee had a similar story. Her childhood true love died of cancer before they could get married, and she wouldn’t fall in love again until she was 77, but they, too, had a handful of happy years traveling and making up for lost time.

    Reply
  23. Annie - February 13, 2018 8:24 pm

    Perfect

    Reply
  24. Geoffrey O'Meara - February 14, 2018 12:18 am

    Melt my heart

    Reply
  25. Jody - February 14, 2018 1:36 am

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  26. Michael Hawke - February 14, 2018 3:29 am

    Amen brother.

    Reply
  27. Wally Jones - February 14, 2018 4:04 am

    Hang on a second. Something in my eye.

    Very nice writing, Sean! Thank you.

    In a few weeks, it will be 50 years of marriage. Love found me then and has been finding me each Valentine’s Day since.

    I. Am . Blessed.

    May you have a wonderful Saint Valentine’s Day.

    Reply
  28. Rhonda Searcy - February 14, 2018 1:26 pm

    What an awesome post! Happy Valentines Day!

    Reply
  29. Jo - February 14, 2018 4:30 pm

    So true. Love finds you when you are not looking. Even when you say no the first time it knocks. What a great story!

    Reply
  30. Marion Pitts - February 18, 2018 10:18 pm

    Beautiful story.

    Reply
  31. Edna B. - March 16, 2018 9:23 am

    So true, love does find you when you least expect it. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing. Hugs, Edna B.

    Reply

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