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A Love That Surprises and Remembers

Photo Credit:  Denise Johnson

Valentines Day is for Romance and Lovers.  Who doesn't enjoy reminiscing about romance, memorable proposals and your wedding day?  These memories can often put us in the mood for romance even if we are not feeling particularly romantic.

Tom:  Our proposal was pure surprise for both of us.
 We were together with family in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.  I woke up early and got Mary Frances (MF) out of her bed to go for a morning walk with Katie, the family dog.  For months I had pondered the question of marrying MF, but planned to postpone any final decision until a trip to Ireland with my Dad later that fall.

As we walked and talked about our hopes and dreams, I felt even more confident in my love for her.  I loved everything about her especially her openness and honesty.  As we reached an outcropping of rocks that looked over the entire valley.   My heart burned within me as I stood filled with emotion and beauty.  I asked MF to marry me.  Her immediate and enthusiastic response confirmed for me that we were meant to join our lives together.  Tears of joy, an affectionate dog who sensed the impact of the moment and the beauty of the Powder River Valley helped form this as an unforgettable memory.

Photo Credit:  Allie Smith
MF:   Ours was a long distance romance as we had only dated for 3 months before Tom finished school and moved away.  I joined him a year later on July 1 and by August 12 (same year) we were engaged.  We had shared our lives and love in weekly phone calls (think long distance calculated by the minute) and daily love letters.  Writing provided us a way to grow as individuals and as lovers.  Sharing those letters accelerated our powerful connection as a couple.  

Tears of joy, lapped by a loving wolfhound, followed my immediate "Yes!" to Tom's proposal.  I wanted to tell the world!  When Tom called to ask my parents' permission (we were adults, but think 40 years ago) my Dad was maybe the only one not surprised.  His first comment, directed to my mother, was "I told you so!"  I guess he knows 'smitten' when he sees it.

One of the greatest gifts of our Worldwide Marriage Encounter Experience  was to resume writing those love letters (think journaling, and sharing it with someone who knows and loves you more than anyone else).  This process  provides us an opportunity to stay intimately connected and reminds us daily of the romance of our dating years even amidst life's chaos and curve balls.

As we celebrate the week of Lovers, reflect back on your romance and proposal.  Were you surprised as we were, or was everything carefully planned?  Either way, a turning point was emblazoned on your hearts.  Recalling that moment, and the thoughts and feelings you experienced can sweep you into a world of romance where the only thing that matters is your love for each other.  Enjoy!


  1. What a great story! And for taking us back to our own beautiful
    engagement moment. Thanks for sharing.


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