Seventeen letters from her and eighteen letters from him later, and it was time for “he” and “she” to finally meet one another in person. The letters between them had been filled with bits and pieces of thoughts shared and information that helped them “get to know” one another. Each letter revealed just a little bit more about the person holding the pen.
About a month before he came home on leave, he sat down to write. The mood struck him to write another poem. The poem took her by surprise – for it was on the theme of love. To this point, none of their letters had even hinted that they might at some point date, let alone fall in love. Yet, she read with interest what he had to write and wondered if it was a measure of what was in his heart:
“Love” – what is it?
A word that’s used so frequently,
By many quite confused
They think they use it properly,
And yet “love” is oft abused.
How can I spell the meaning that,
In just a couple words,
Relates exactly what love means,
And not destroy the word?
Relates exactly what love means,
It seems the dictionary lacks,
To even start this giant task
Or end it properly.
Is friendship love or vice versa?
A miracle in thought?
Or is it even greater still
To think of things Christ taught?
On earth we’ll never really know,
The sparkling magnitude,
Or what it really means or does.
It seems I’m more confused.
Where does “love” come from, or “love” go?
From heart to heart perhaps?
Does anyone pretend to know?
There are no “Atlas” maps.
I think love is being loved
A little brings a lot.
And God planned and started it,
Or else we’d be without.
Was he falling in love with someone he hadn’t yet met? Was he thinking about the possibilities? Was he already thinking about taking their relationship to the next level? Was she?
Sunday, August 5, 1973 finally dawned. Today was the day… and I don’t think she heard a single word of what was being taught in Sunday School that morning. Nervously fidgeting in class, she kept thinking about what would happen next. In less than one hour she would meet in person the guy she had been writing for the past 7 months. There would now be a face and a voice to the name scrawled at the end of the letters she had read in earnest. She was excited, nervous, eager, scared and a jumble of other feelings all at once.
To help him pick her out in the crowd, she told him she would be wearing a pink dress. It was her favorite dress, the one she had worn to the church “senior banquet.”
In their last letters to one another before he came home on leave, they made plans to meet at church between Sunday School and the morning worship service. Now, with her best friend next to her for moral support, she timidly walked down that long second floor hallway scanning the crowd looking for him. Her heart skipped a beat as her shy eyes caught a glimpse of him standing there at the far end of the hall – tall, handsomely tanned, and dressed in his Navy whites. He was looking for her too!
Intense nervousness set in. Even though she had agreed to meet him in that hallway just outside the church library, she still felt apprehensive and awkward. What should she say? Should she shake his hand, or give him a hug? Should she say, “Hi, I’m Cindie, and you must be Wayne” or just simply say “Hi Wayne”?
Nonchalant! That’s what she decided she would be. She would just turn her head and engage herself in deep conversation (nervous, nonsensical babble, actually) with her friend and just walk slowly past him and wait for him to make the first move.
He thought she was a bit of a scatter-brain walking past him like that, but he stopped her and soon the introduction was history. Little did they know, as God would have it, this was the introduction to their future.
Coming soon: “The First Date”