Love Me Tender
The term “love story” often invokes the thought of a classic romance between two people —that all-encompassing, love-tune-swirling-in-your-head kind of love. But love comes in many forms, and from many types of relationships. Love shines brightly in times of joy. It bears the weight of life’s most difficult circumstances and somehow emerges even more radiant through it all. We asked some North State residents to share their love stories with us. Our hearts were enchanted with their responses. We hope yours will be, too.
Sarah & Isaac: Love Shared Between a Mother and Child
I was blessed with my “happy accident” in July of 2010, and since then, my life has found meaning. One thing that has kept me strong and has forced me to carry on is my little Isaac. He is my reason for breathing, the reason I have slaved over the last years to earn my bachelor’s degree — so I can provide him with a promising future. Without him, I am incomplete. He is my purpose and my whole heart. He inspires me to be better and gives me the strength I need to push a little harder to achieve my dreams. Because of him, I am fulfilled and truly know love.
Jim and Francis: Long-Term Love
In 1958, after attending classes at Shasta College, I would head home in the afternoon to watch a show on TV called Northern California Bandstand. It took place right here in Redding and featured all local talent. The show came on just before American Bandstand. It began with a young couple dancing. The young girl had long blond hair. Over a period of time, I became very interested in the blonde on TV. “Someday I will meet her and there could be a chance she will be your daughter-in-law,” I said to my dad.
One night, I was parked at the U Name Us drive-in restaurant in North Redding with a friend. I happened to look in the rear view mirror, and in the car behind me was the blonde from Northern California Bandstand! It was love at first sight for me. Her name was Francis. I called her the next day and asked her out. She accepted.
While we were going out, Francis became a Damboree Princess and also first runner-up for Miss Shasta County in 1959. She was even Bing Crosby’s escort for Burney Basin Days and we survived that!
On August 5, 1959, while driving down Court Street, I stopped in front of the courthouse. She asked why I had stopped, and I said, “I am asking you to go steady and I want it to be legal, so here we are at the courthouse.”
In 1960, while visiting her parents’ home, I pulled out a diamond ring and asked her to marry me. She said yes. I moved to Stockton and Los Angeles to pursue a career in radio and TV. We maintained our engagement during that time. In 1962, I returned to Redding and we were married on August 5, the anniversary of the date we decided to go steady. The friend who was in the car with me on the day we met at the drive-in restaurant was our best man. Over the last 51 years, we have worked together and raised three sons. We now have 10 grandchildren.
Angelica & Chauncey: Puppy Love
By Dana Cortez
When Angelica laid eyes on that precious little dog nearly 17 years ago, her heart was his forever. And his heart was hers, too. They bestowed upon each other love, devotion and companionship that endured everything. Their greatest heartbreak was separation from each other. Nothing was right until they were together. And no sacrifice was too great. He endured countless hours by her side while she worked from home and he spent days and sometimes weeks on end missing her while she traveled for business. During his final moments, she never slept or rested while caring for him. A true love is transcendent and that is exactly what Angelica and Chauncey shared.
Linda & Mike: Online Love
Mike and I met on Match.com. I always say, “He gets everything online, even me!” We first met in person at Black Bear Diner in Redding. I knew I was in love a few months into the relationship. He was pretty much what I had asked God to send me. I had a checklist. Of course, the Harley helped a great deal. Our love for each other has truly grown over the years. We read each other’s minds and we can often finish each other’s sentences. Plus, we have our child, Scooter, who looks a lot like her daddy.
Stephanie & Joel: First Love
Joel and I met in junior high. I asked him to be my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. We had our first kiss by the portables. A friend had to hold my retainer! I broke up with him and I can’t recall why. I think I wanted to go out with an older boy or something silly. We went on a trip to New York for school, and Joel spent the whole trip trying to make me jealous. My family moved away after that, but I never forgot him. Thirteen years later, I saw him on Classmates.com and sent him a message. I was living in North Carolina and he was in Portland. We talked on the phone for two months. I booked a flight and went to visit him. When I got off the plane, it was like a movie. I ran to him and we had the most amazing kiss. I remember how he smelled and it was like I was home. We got married two days later in Reno with his family there. I had to call my mom and tell her I was getting married! Now we have two daughters and he has loved me in sickness and in health. I am struggling with a life-threatening illness, but he has never walked away. He still treats me like I am as beautiful as the day we married 12 years ago.
Sherry & Robert: Unexpected Love
It was 1994. He walked through the office door wearing plaid shorts and a striped shirt. I remember thinking, “This man needs help!” He was cute, but too young – by eight and a half years. I set out to groom him for someone else. But when a woman called for him, I was shaken by my reaction of jealousy. I wanted him! We were engaged three times. On engagement number three, I said to him, If we last a year, we will marry next year.” We got married on January 11, 1997. He is my one true love who has always been there for me, especially this year, when we battled my cancer.
Sung & Jiwon: Love At First Sight
Jiwon and I met on a blind date. We were set up by her aunt and a mutual friend. When we met, we knew immediately we’d get married. We just knew. On our second date, sitting on a bench in Central Park, I asked her why she wasn’t married yet. She replied, “I haven’t met a man who loves Jesus as much as I do yet.” Because of her, my faith is where it is today and I am a pastor. We married seven months after meeting in New York, and then we relocated to Redding.