"Postcards of Love," by Cathy May (pictured with husband, Bob above) finishes in first place with 260 votes. Cathy will receive two tickets to Cirque de Soleil, a $300 gift certificate to J. Oliver's, a haircut and color, manicure and pedicure, and 60 minute facial from Spa 5 located at That French Salon, along with a night at the TownePlace Marriott including flowers, chocolates and sparkling cider. You can read more about Cathy and Bob's love story below.
Coming in second place with 244 votes is Dana Fiedler, for her entry "The Love Boat." Dana and her husband Brian will receive two tickets to Cirque de Soleil.
Jay Hitchcock's entry "Love at First Sight" comes in third with 138 votes. Jay and his fiance, Randa, will also receive two tickets to Cirque de Soleil. Read more about their story below.
Having recently come out of a long and damaging marriage, I was not up to meeting anyone at the time, but his student insisted, "I'm not asking you to MARRY the guy, just meet him!" Well, to make a long story short, we did and have been happily married since June 27th (had to be the 27th) 1997!
Every single day, he sends me a gift of love via the post box, a postcard. I have one for EVERY day we've been together since we met. That totals at least, 6,225.
I used to think to myself, "Why doesn't he just express these romantic and wonderful feelings to my face?" But now, I cannot even begin to convey how much I treasure them when I read the words he carefully chose to put down on that postcard. Our mailman was probably quite confused in the beginning. LOL
The spoken word may vanish, but I have his love to see every time I read (and reread) them.....it's the last thing I do before I turn the light out at night.
"That guy over there is SOOOO good looking!" Those words I inadvertently blurted out changed my life forever! July - 1992, the summer before my senior year of high school, I was on a business trip (cruise) with my dad and step-mom in the Caribbean. All of the people on the cruise with the company, met in one of the dining areas of the ship. That is where I first saw him. (I know this sounds so cliche, but) I looked across the room and saw the most handsome smile, attached to a 6'4, brown-eyed, gorgeous hunk of a man! At that moment, my heart spoke out loud via my mouth the aforementioned phrase, "that guy over there is SOOOO good looking!" when the woman next to me said, "That is my son, I will introduce you!" I wanted to crawl under the table and hide from embarrassment. Little did I know, but I had just met my future mother-in-law. The next day, Brian (the gorgeous hunk of a man) found me out by the pool and introduced himself. After that, we were inseparable the entire week. Neither of us can recall sleeping at all that week . We lived 3 hours apart, Brian in Memphis and I in NLR. He had begun his freshman year in college and after a few months of juggling school, work, pledging a fraternity and a long distance relationship; something had to go- the relationship. He became a world class jerk to put it mildly and we went out separate ways. Two years later when I was attending college at UCA, my mom called to tell me that a guy from Memphis named Brian called looking for me. I was stunned. I was stunned that I actually cared that he called, because I don't forgive easily in matters of the heart. Once a bridge was burned with someone I dated, that was it! There were NO DO OVERS! Curious, I called him back. After four hours on the phone catching up, I had a heartfelt apology from Brian for letting the wrong thing go and a request for another chance. We spent the next few months taking turns driving back and forth from Conway to Memphis. Finally the distance was too much to bear, but this time Brian moved to Arkansas. We were married 7 months later. That was 17 years and three daughters ago. For our 15 year anniversary, we went on another cruise to reminisce about how it all began 20 years before. In a world where marriages end almost before they begin, we cling tightly to each other and our faith in God to get through difficult times. When things in our life happen that would send most into a downward spiral to divorce; like when our oldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 6, raising a child with special needs, or we are having marital growing pains- we just remember the love we first felt for each other on that ship in 1992.
The strange thing about this blind date? Our mothers had set the date up and our mothers were with us on our blind date. At the time, I was in graduate school in Illinois and she was living in Mississippi. Our mothers were at a high school reunion and began sharing pictures of their kids. My mother, who at the time was always looking for my 'MS RIGHT', suggested her and her friend introduce their son and daughter the next time I was in MS. My first reaction to my mom telling me this was, 'what is wrong with this girl if her mom is trying to set her up on a blind date with a guy that lives two states away?' Nonetheless, I agreed to meet her because she was very pretty in the picture my mom had of her.
A few weeks later, I was planning a trip home to MS to go hunting with some friends and the night before the hunt, a large group of us (including our mothers) went out to eat at a local restaurant. That night was surprisingly comfortable and I was instantly attracted to that 'strange girl that agreed to meet me on a blind date with our mothers'. Even though the date was not awkward, we barely spoke fifty words between us and I didn't even ask her for her phone number when they left that evening. I knew, however, that I was going to marry her.
The next day I met some friends for a hunt (the hunt I came to MS for) and they jokingly asked how my blind date went. They were shocked when I told them that I had met the girl I was going to marry. Most likely they didn't believe me..after all, we were separated by over five hours and our mothers were on the date and I didn't even get her phone number.
After I returned to IL, lucky for me, Facebook was just becoming big and I was able to look her up and contact her. After weeks of talking on the phone, I mustered up the courage to ask her to come to IL and spend a weekend with me. Before her, my typical first date would consist of dinner and a movie. But I knew she was special and I wanted to do something special for her. So, on our first real date, I had planned us a trip to Indianapolis to be highlighted by catching a Colts football game, a horse carriage ride in downtown Indianapolis and a dinner on a revolving rooftop of a downtown building. That weekend would prove to be the beginning of the rest of our lives.
We went back to our lives in MS and IL with the occasional weekend visit until it was time for me to propose to her. And once again, I had to ask for a little help from her mom and mine...for, it would be up to them to get Randa back into that restaurant in which we all first met on our blind date, without her knowing that I had driven down from IL to propose to her at that restaurant...and they were successful, despite both of them being a nervous wreck.
The night I proposed, I arrived at the restaurant before Randa and our mothers and asked the waitress to develop a scheme with me. I asked the waitress to put a poem I had written in Randa's menu and to play our song (Brad Paisley's 'She's Everything') whenever she sat them at their table. I would hide behind the bar and when I heard our song on the radio, I would walk out to their table and get on my knee and propose. The poem read (I wrote it so that it would spell 'Will you marry me' if you use the first letters on the left margin):
When I agreed to meet you in this very place
I never dreamed I would meet someone as wonderful as you
Looking in your beautiful eyes
Laughing all night long
YOU had me from hello
Meeting you was like an answer to my prayers
All my life I knew you were there
Randa Nicole Robertson
Right beside you I will always be
You're the one God had for me
May we always be so happy
Ever after,it will be you and me
And so the plan worked, and family and friends came out of hiding in their cars to help us celebrate our engagement that night. Seven months later, we would become Mr. And Mrs. Hitchcock. In spite of the long distance that separated us and the fact that our parents had to set us up, we have spent 5 wonderful years together and we often reminisce how strange our meeting each other was.