In 1967, I met my one true love.
I was a small town girl in my first year of Nursing School and he was in his third year of University, also a small town kind of guy but this guy was from an exotic place….the islands of Bermuda.
We began dating on September 16th and we have been together ever since.
University finished for the year in early May and so Ray would be flying home to Bermuda for the summer. We were totally in love and the thought of being apart for 4 months was devastating. There were tears and promises and letters and weekly brief long-distance calls and then of course more tears (did I mention that I was the one weeping soulfully?) and letters……we wrote to each other EVERY day ( We still have all our love letters too!)
On a phone call in June, he posed the question to me…well not THE question but rather the question that would start me on a whole new path in life….”Sweetheart, will you come to see me in Bermuda for your holidays this summer?” Ah…Er…um….oh YES I shouted into the phone. I mean I had 2 weeks off in July and what else would I do? BUT Since I had no money at all, he insisted on paying for my ticket. Then came the most crucial part of the great hope to jet off to paradise….Eagerly I went to my parents the next weekend to ask permission. My mother was so shocked that I would even ask. “It’s not as though you are engaged or anything! A girl can not go to stay with a boyfriend’s family. I mean he seems nice but what about his family? Will they even be there???
It just wasn’t ‘done’ I those days, at least not where I lived. The only way she would even consider this at all, is if his parents wrote a letter to invite me. Even then, she wasn’t too keen on it. Well long story slightly shorter…..his mother sent a beautifully written invitation to my parents and so it was decision time again. Mom was definitely not thrilled about the idea. Was it that she had a deep mistrust of ME or could it be those flashing dark eyes of my handsome beau?!? Hmmm. Bermuda was a foreign country after all…she may have thought of it as some third world country or maybe even a wild Club Med kind of place. I was so upset and frustrated. But I knew better than to over-argue my case. The next afternoon, my Dad and I went for a drive into the country and after a little while, we stopped at a local beach. It was still very cold and not yet beach weather in Nova Scotia but we often took walks along the craggy shores to think and reflect.
In my own little dream world, I picked up a stick and started drawing Ray’s and my initials in the sand in a big heart. My dad came over to me and after a few moments said, “The next time you will be writing in the sand, it will be the pink sands of Bermuda” I was elated!
My parents were old-fashioned and very loving and together they had decided on this way of telling me I had permission to go. Tears ran down my cheeks and I hugged my dad so hard. He too started to cry with joy. He and Mom knew even then what a special young man Ray was.
Three years later, Ray and I were married in a church in Bermuda…And so here I am living with my one true love in our beautiful island paradise home.