It is hard to believe, but Linda and I have been married 47 years! That’s a long time for her to put up with someone like me! There are so many reasons that I thank the Lord for my wife, but you might find the story of my proposing to her interesting.
We met at Emmaus Bible School (as it was called back then), located in a suburb of Chicago (it has since moved to a beautiful campus in Dubuque, Iowa). When we first met, I was entering my second year of the three-year program and she was a freshman. We met at the freshman retreat and yours truly fell head over heels in love with this young lady from New Jersey.
She and her friend Robin, for some inexplicable reason, decided to switch names for the first week of school. So my roommates mercilessly teased me when I lay in my bunk bed in the men’s dorm moaning, “Robin! O Robin!” (my wife’s name is Linda).
Pretty soon she took pity on me and we began dating each other. Although it took her a bit longer than me to realize that we would be life partners, we began making plans to get married after I finished my third year at Emmaus.
Her mother gave us an engagement ring that had been in the family for quite a while. We took it to a local jeweler’s to have the diamond put into another setting. The jeweler told us that it would be three weeks before it was ready. So my official proposal had to wait.
What Linda didn’t know was that the jeweler called me to say that the ring was ready about a week early. I picked it up and began to plan “the proposal.” At the time I was playing second string on Emmaus’ basketball team and Linda was the best-looking cheerleader for the school. I decided I would propose to her at half-time. On the court. In front of the twenty people who came to see our game.
At halftime we were losing to the other school by seventy (that’s “7” followed by a “0”) points. The mood was ruined. I kept the ring in my pocket and we headed back to the school after the game.
There was a small coffee shop just a block from the school where we would occasionally go and split a piece of apple pie. As we were walking down the street, the ring was burning a hole in my pocket and I made my mind up.
I pulled Linda into a dark alley (just before the coffee shop) and asked her, “Will you marry me?” She started to laugh. “Why are you laughing?” I said. “You don’t have the ring! It’s not ready for another week or two!”, she said. I then realized the ring was still in my pocket. I pulled it out, held it in front of her, got on one knee, and asked the question a second time.
She began to scream. In a dark alley. Outside Chicago. I think she said “Yes!”, because we then went to the coffee shop where I got the whole piece of pie. But the best was — I got Linda!