My favorite person in the whole world, my wonderful husband!

For Valentine’s Day in 1998, David took me to breakfast and read me the following story that he had written. It was the story of our courtship. It was and still is, my favorite gift that he’s ever given me. We framed it and it hangs in our home. The title he gave it was, “A Love Story”.

“My first recollection of Julie Marie Noah is inside the sanctuary of Mid-America Seminary on a Sunday evening. I was sitting in about the 6th row on the right side of the auditorium when she walked in on the other side of the room and went up an aisle to find a seat. She was wearing all white, a white shirt with a ruffled collar and white slacks. She had blond hair and a slight tan. I don’t think I’d ever seen anyone more beautiful. “Who is that girl?” I thought to myself.

The next time I remember seeing her was at a singles department picnic one afternoon. I don’t remember what she was wearing, or who else was at the picnic, except T—–P—–, who was in charge and calling out the various games. But Julie was there, and her face is the only one I still remember seeing that day. We were talking for the first time that afternoon, about what I don’t know, when T—–P—– announced that the next activity would be “Couples softball. Everybody get a partner.” “Oh, great,” I thought, “these situations make me so nervous. Who am I going to ask?” I must have been perspiring at the thought. “I can’t ask Julie, she’s too good-looking. Well, what have I got to lose. Act confident.”

The next thing I know we’re holding hands in center field. It’s not that I’m so aggressive, it was a requirement of the game. One player wore the glove, the other would make the throw if necessary, while both players held hands at all times. Only one ball flew in our direction, so we just stood there sharing testimonies. I think I learned that day that she and C—–P—–, one of my boyhood pals, had been good friends in college. He threw rocks at her dorm window late at night to invite her to come out to play, and things like that. I don’t remember much else about that day, except for the fact that I hit a home run right-handed and Julie acted as if she was impressed with that.

For the next few days I wrestled with whether to invite Julie Noah to go out with me, and if so, where. She was so good-looking. And her brothers were so much bigger than I am. She probably thinks I’m a shrimp and won’t want to go. Girls usually like someone who is built like their brothers or their father, and I was sure I failed that comparison. But I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

Finally I got the courage to call her. “How would you like to come swimming at the pool where I’m housesitting?” I don’t remember what excuse she gave, but she said, “No.” Rejected. I knew that might happen, but I didn’t lose heart entirely. Maybe she said something encouraging like, “Call me again.” I don’t recall. But I did call her again, this time to go to the Brooks Museum of Art. I don’t think I’d ever been to the art museum, and haven’t been since. Don’t ask me how I picked the art museum, but I did, and she accepted.

She was wearing white jeans again, but this time with a turquoise top. All I remember about the entire event is that it was a sunny day and we stood outside the museum a long time in the parking lot of the museum, the sunlight streaming through the summer trees with shifting patterns of shade all around us. Not only was this girl pretty, she was smart and funny, too.

And she was just as pretty close up as at a distance. Maybe prettier. She had a smile that made her cheeks puff up like her whole face was congratulating you on what you’d just said. And her eyes were direct, not afraid of mine, and lovely to look at. I still wondered if she could probably be interested in a skinny kid with a big nose like me.

Somewhere during these days Julie left a singles gathering to which I had arrived alone to go out with B—–R—– and some others. I felt left out and concerned about Julie and B—-R—–. I wondered if she liked him, if she wanted to go out with him, and if she liked me. I think that’s when I was playing in a tennis tournament and I had won a semi-final match that afternoon. I must have told Julie that the finals were the next day because she and H—–M—– showed up for that match. What a shock! She was wearing a peach-colored dress, obviously the dress she’d worn to church earlier in the day. I lost the match, but won the confidence that she really did like me. She liked me. She really liked me.

Well, it was two years and two break-ups before I was convinced that this gorgeous, blue-eyed blonde was meant to be Mrs. David Gordon. Who would have believed then that this sparkling creature would give me six adorable children, and that we would love them and cherish each other until death do us part.”

By David Gordon, February 14, 1998