After their initial meeting they began corresponding sending back and forth a photos of the other’s family or a Norwegian recipe they both liked.
One day Erling asked Nana, “You’ve been a widow for longer than me. What advice do you have?”
Nana replied, “Advice? Of course I had advice. I told Erling he needed to think about what he wanted to be doing 10 years from now.” He gave that some serious thought and decided he didn’t want to be walking around his empty house talking to himself in 10 years.
About six months later Nana asked again, “Where do you think we should get married?”
I gulped not sure if this was real or fantasy at age 75 years old. She went on to say, “Shall we get married at the family reunion, or my home church I attended before I moved to the retirement home?”
I said I doubted that her deceased husband’s family reunion would be the place to marry even if there were dozens of relatives who loved her. Likewise not too many friends from her church almost 10 years prior to the retirement home would still be there or have a strong connection with her.
After thinking that over Nana said wistfully, “Do you know where my dream wedding would be?”
I tried to imagine where a 75 year widow would envision her dream wedding – Hawaii, Niagara Falls, the Rockies?
She looked up wistfully and smiled. “It would be right here in the Retirement Home garden – down in the little valley surrounded by flowers where my neighbor is the gardener.”
I thought about her age and encouraged her, “Nana, at age 75 you should do your dream wedding!”
Shortly thereafter Erling proposed, wedding plans were set, and both families of relatives were invited to a May wedding. The bride and groom were to ride down the garden valley in a golf cart and have their wedding outdoors in the garden valley.
But the rainy day moved everything inside. It didn’t matter. It was the happiest day for two 75 and 77 year olds! Life, and God, had brought them together 70 years later!
God was good and kindly gave them romance 70 years later as a living example of Jeremiah 33:3 “I know the plan I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
Nana and Erling were given hope and a future – and so are we all.