Imagine yourself on leave after graduating from USMC flight training and you are in your home town with your cousin. Its July 4th 1974 in a small town in Kentucky where main street is closed for a daylong celebration. You are on the east side of the street with your cousin and as you get to the south end you look across the street and you feel your breath taken away as you see her. Although no beauty queen or a silver screen star yet the most beautiful girl you have ever seen in your 19 years of life.
She is slender with long red hair dressed in a not very appealing baggy shirt and a pair of ragged jeans yet beyond that your soul is touched and you fall in love at first sight. You holler across the street hey where you going. Her girlfriend looks over and ask "why."
"not you her."
"Oh she is going to the bathroom why you some kind of army pervert?"
Hey says your cousin he is a Marine Aviator not an army weenie."
I hit my cousin in the arm and she laughed. "Want to dance," i ask. /the two of them giggle and run to the service station and into the ladies room. I look at my cousin and walk across the street as he says I am not going to be with the girlfriend I don't like her at school. "Whatever."
As she comes out I again ask want to dance?
"No she does not."
"So she can't speak is that it?"
"I can and no I do not want to dance."
"ok then how about later when the band starts. She giggles and nods yes.
We met two hours later and danced held hands talked and as the actual last song of the night ended we had our first kiss. Talk about fireworks the sky was filled with color and explosions even bigger than the ones that were set off for the beginning of the towns show.
We went out and were together for the next two days. Two before I was scheduled to return to base she could not meet up saying things were going to fast paced. I knew to have one more date with her I had to. My cousin and I were listening to the local radio show's song dedication show. After some encouragement and prodding from my cousin I called in and knowing I so wanted to take her out one more time picked a song by Dale and Grace I am leaving it all up to you.
Not one minute after the song was over Grandpa's phone rang and it was her. "Yes I will I will I love you to and yes I will marry you."
Stunned does not exactly cover what was running through my mind, "really you will I love you and cannot wait to see you, you know I have to leave in two days for assignment. I will have to send you a ring, but I will get you one."
With a look of utter confusion on his face my cousin says "a ring?"
"It seems I proposed with that song."
"I am marrying the woman of my dreams, Holy **** can life get any better."
"But you have never even done it and there is a rumor of her being knocked up."
I hit him so hard I actually knocked him out. So after meeting on July 4th 1974 we were married on August 16 1974. On January 26 1975 we had our first of 6 children who as the first born son carried the family name and is the 4th. My cousin was my best man. You know for the next 10 years all she had to do was look at me in her that way and I would fall in love all over again every time. Then the day my heart all but exploded and my world imploded all at the same time.
Sadly 38 years ago today I came home, after not skipping from her pleading me not to as I had for the past three Fridays so I could get home an hour sooner, a class I needed. Coming in the front door my mom said she was not feeling well and was in bed. So I went up to check on her and then BOOM, I found she was gone, from I learned later as a result of a leaking exhaust pipe from the hot water heater. And the worse had I been home an hour earlier I would have been home in time.
Needless to say I dropped that class.
Even today 38 years later I am still head over heels in love with her and she will always have a place in my heart.