Love Sometimes Waits
At nineteen, Ted fell in love with the back of Candy’s head, in church. A summer’s worth of Sundays rolled by and he couldn’t find the courage to talk to her, or even make eye contact as the congregation funneled out of Avenue Baptist Church. On a Sunday morning in October of 1934, between the sermon and How Great Thou Art, Ted decided the best thing to do was to fling Beemans Black Jack licorice gum wrappers at the back of her flawless platinum blonde Marcel wave.
Candy ignored Ted’s sincere (and irritating) gestures for five agonizing Sundays. Sometimes the wrappers would get stuck in her hair for the entire service. She paid no mind.
On that fifth Sunday, Candy and her best friend Mary decided to pop into Thomas Drug for a soda after church. Jack, the soda jerk, offered Candy any flavor on the menu courtesy of Ted, (his younger brother) who was sitting at the end of the bar beaming ear to ear at his supreme luck. Candy took an excruciating hour to finish her cherry phosphate before acknowledging Ted. She rolled her sixteen-year-old sapphire blue eyes in joyful defeat as Ted offered to walk her home.
Flash forward to 2014. Candy found such delight in telling me how they met and fell in love. She clapped her hands and said to me, “That’s all it took, his actual invitation. I had a lonely summer until Ted asked to walk me home from Thomas Drug. I fell in love with him that afternoon. Our love hasn’t stopped growing. Sometimes I feel like I could burst.” Candy and Ted might celebrate their sixty-third wedding anniversary in two weeks, if Ted makes it. I doubt that, I’m pretty sure he will die before Sunday.
I asked Candy for advice for people who are looking for love. She silently stroked her dying husband’s forehead and left cheek for a moment. Without looking up from Ted, she continued to slowly pet him and said with certainty, “Love sometimes waits, and, love can be impatient. Love may pass you by and settle for what might be reciprocal love. That arrangement is always temporary. Be awake to the signs of the real thing. Love isn’t always as obvious as a tap on the shoulder or a gum wrapper tossed at the back of your head.”
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