They met at a Christmas party. He wasn't dating anyone special. A buddy had offered to fix him up with a girl, but she didn't sound like his type. She was dating a few different boys, but none of them were special.
He had grown up in the country and loved country music. She had grown up in the "city", a small town near Amarillo and loved jazz. Jazz was playing at the party and, with his usual lack of tact, he said "Who's stupid music is this?" She said "It's my music. And it's my house. I like it. If you don't want to hear it, you don't have to be here". He turned to look at this sassy girl and fell. Hard. She had beautiful blue eyes behind her thick glasses. She was little and curvy and the cutest thing he had ever seen. She liked big, muscular guys. This guy was ridiculously skinny, but he had laughing green eyes and a wicked grin.
His buddy told him later that this was the girl he had wanted him to meet.
They went on a total of three dates that December. He had been cordially invited by the United States Army to become a soldier. He was going to be leaving for basic training right after New Years. He proposed on their third date. He said he didn't want her dating anyone else while he was gone. She said she didn't want him dating anyone else. He said "Well then, I guess we should get married." Not romantic, but it worked.
She had to break a date with another boy later in the week because they got engaged.
Their marriage wasn't perfect, but it was still wonderful. They had two little girls. He had a career as an engineer. She had a career making their house a home. Most of all, they had each other. The two truly became one.
Two months before their 43rd wedding anniversary, she left him. Sat down in his chair, put her feet up, closed her eyes and left him. And left their girls and their sons-in-law and their grandbabies. And left a gaping hole in the lives of everyone she knew.
It has been one year, two months and six days since she left. His girls have told him it is OK if he wants to start dating. He says she was it for him, his only love. He goes to church, to the doctor, to visit friends and family. He is doing alright for a man walking around with only half of a heart.
He still misses her every day. He still wears his wedding ring.
So Happy 44th Anniversary to my Daddy. I wish Mama was here to celebrate with you.