How did our life together begin?
At the end of 1991, I decided for the fun of it to put an ad in the Sacramento Single News Magazine. The headline was “Ward Cleaver, Where are You?. My mother takes credit for the headline! SWF looking for a 1950’s type of guy…
I received about 40 replies running the gamut from a photograph with just a phone number to a four page letter detailing exactly what this man wanted in a woman and the type of wife she should be. I still have the letters in my memorabilia box. I received a letter from Father and we arranged to meet. We had lunch on January 24th at the Peppermill. Our lunch lasted three hours but only seemed like a few minutes. Since we liked each other, we arranged to go on a date the next weekend. After that date, I never answered any more replies from the ad. Somehow I knew he was going to be a part of my life forever.
Fast forward 5 years later. We got engaged on February 1st 1997. Our 5th anniversary of dating was January 31st, but due to taxes being due that day for the business, we decided to go to Aldo’s the next day. We were at Aldo’s drinking our wine and listening to the pianist, talking about our lives. The subject of gifts came up. Father says “Do you want a ring” as a gift. I looked at him and said “Is that a proposal?” He gets a thoughtful look on his face and says “yeah, I guess it is. Will you marry me?” I looked at him and said “yes!” And as if he couldn’t believe he actually asked the question or didn’t hear my answer, he asked again. “Will you marry me?” “Yes, Yes, Yes, I will marry you!” I said as I kissed him. I can’t remember the rest of the dinner because it passed in a blur. We went home, drank Champagne and called my parents.
We called his mom and she was very happy. She told us she had a diamond in her safe deposit box and if we liked it, we could have it to set in a ring. The Thursday before we were suppose to go see her, she had a heart attack. She insisted all was minor, so we told her we would be up there that weekend. Friday, she had a stroke and was paralyzed on the right sight. We raced up to see her. We spent the day with her and then went back to her house for night. In the middle of the night, she had a second stroke with completely paralyzed her. We had no idea if she was brain alert until Father’s brother told her to blink and she did. She could communicate by blinking, but otherwise she was totally paralyzed.
Evidently, she had discussed giving the diamond to us with Father’s brother. So while all this is going on, brother goes to the bank to retrieve the diamond. Unbeknown to us, there was a wedding set from her first marriage to JJG, a fighter pilot during WWII. They were soul mates and only married 3 years before he died of cancer. She later married Father’s dad, had three sons and named my husband after JJG. Brother comes back from the bank and calls us into G’s hospital room. Two boxes are on the bed. One was the diamond, the other was a wedding set. The set had a wedding band and an engagement ring with a .25ct center diamond with 3 channel set diamonds on each side. They tell me to choose. I picked up the ring, slid it onto my finger and it fit perfectly!!!! (a few weeks before when we had visited G, she had brought out a bunch of rings for me to look at. It turned out we had the same size finger. I think at the time, she was thinking of giving me her wedding set at that time) I took the ring off and asked her if it is okay with her, I would be honored to have her ring. She blinked twice for yes. I handed the ring to Father. He gets down on one knee and proposes to me at his mother’s bedside. He slipped the ring on my finger saying “will you marry me?” Of course I said yes. Everyone was crying. It was a very emotional moment.
This was certainly a sign that our love was meant to be. G had kept the wedding set all these years. She named Father after JJG. They were soul mates. Father and I are soul mates. The ring fit perfectly. After G passed away, we had her cremated and buried her with her true love, JJG.
We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary in August.