Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chosen...by Verl Terry

As I have thought back, 53 years now, regarding Marlene and her life with our family and myself, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I had chosen one of God’s choicest daughters to be my wife and mother to eight children.  What is really comforting is she chose me also to be her “Superman” as she stated in one of her before mentioned blogs.

Marlene loved movies. She especially loved movies that had anything to do about space (Star Trek), Romance/Comedy (Romancing the Stone) and other great stories that deal with family and love.  I would like to try and paint a picture for you and put my memories of my sweet wife, my sweetheart, mother, teacher and wonderful grandmother into a movie trailer for you.

I met Marlene at a dance in Logan, Utah at Utah State University.  She was wearing a bright red dress.  This was her uniform for the Sparta Pep Club from South Cache High School.  She performed marching and dancing programs at half time at the football and basketball games. Man what a knockout and a beautiful woman I thought she was. …She was a gorgeous lady with olive skin, black hair, large brown eyes-that when she looked at you she could melt your heart, and she had a gorgeous figure.  I was very proud to be her partner at that dance and had a wonderful time.  As the night came to an end and being an evening I enjoyed immensely, I wondered if I would ever see her again?

Like a “dummy”, I didn’t ask her for her phone number. But guess what?  The very next day I saw her and her friend dragging Main Street in Logan.  We followed them to the Arctic Circle drive-in.  I asked Marlene and her friend if they would come in with me for a “Coke date.”  They said, “yes” and we enjoyed visiting, laughing about the dance the night before and how “by accident” here we were meeting up on the very next day.  In my heart, I never believed it was by accident. …It was meant to be.  As we continued to visit, I became more nervous as I wanted to pop what I thought was the golden question at that time in my life, “ Will you go out with me on an ‘official’ date and introduce me to your family?”

Her reply was an excited, “YES!” …Can’t tell you exactly what a “pitter-pat” of the heart is but I believe that is what I experienced that day.

I was nervous the whole day before our date.  Meeting her parents and her family was a really scary thing for me.  I don’t know why I was so nervous?  Her Father, James Kelly, treated me like a son almost immediately and as I got to know him found out we had a lot in common.  We both loved the outdoors including hunting, fishing, riding horses and just a common love of God’s creations or the outdoors.  

Marlene’s Mother, Hattie, was a bit more skeptical and concerned about me. After all I was from Nevada where there where “lots of young men who were gamblers, card sharks and womanizers!” …Makes me laugh just thinking about it.  After several months of dating, family picnics, movies, dinners etc., Hattie finally started to relent her fears and showed a very special and genuine kindness that I had only known in my own Mother.  Hattie became, and still is even with her passing back in 1991, a very special and beautiful woman to me.

Dating in Logan was a wonderful experience. We would go to Logan Canyon next to the first dam on the Logan River.  Picnics, playing in the water, talking about our future, fishing, sunsets, the mountains and the beginning of the night with the heavens glowing were just a few of the activities Marlene and I enjoyed together.  

Time. …It was really hard for me to take Marlene home at the appointed time.  Time seemed to be in our way because we enjoyed being with each other so much and time always flew by when we were together.  However, I was always prompt in returning Marlene to her home minutes before the hour she was expected so I didn’t ruin the trust I had built with her family but especially her Mother.  When I was not with her time stood still. …And here I am again waiting on “TIME” to be with my sweetheart again.

There was one night I recall my ‘51 Merc wouldn’t start. It was just minutes after the appointed hour to have Marlene home. We got to a phone as quickly as possible and called Marlene’s Mother to let her know of our dilemma.  It appeared that the battery was dead. So I called one of my college buddies to come and give us a jump-start.  …I’m sure we caused the battery to go dead by listening to Lucky Lager Music Time on my radio. It was one of our favorites and always brings back such fond memories.

The weeks of dating flew by and I returned to Ely, Nevada, to work for Kennecott Copper Company.  During that time, Marlene would write to me three times a week. She expressed her feelings very well but due to my in abilities to express myself, I would only write two or three letters a month.   With phone calls costing a lot back in those days since Marlene and I would talk for hours at times, we deemed it was finally time for her to also meet my family.  …She arranged for a bus ride to Ely and I must admit, I COULD NOT wait to see her.  I was really excited to have my family meet her and see, as I did, what a wonderful and beautiful person she was not only on the outside but within her beautiful heart and soul.

The day of her arrival finally came and I couldn’t wait to embrace her and tell her how much I missed her.  She looked beautiful, as always, and in my heart I KNEW I was going to ask her to be my wife. My family loved Marlene and told me so.   Her beauty. …Her sense of humor. …Her wit and charm. …Just her ability to love easily won the hearts of my family very quickly.   As time once again flew by while she was there, I was saddened and dismayed that she had to return to Logan to be with her family.

During the next few months, I worked hard so I could buy and chose the perfect engagement ring fit for a queen and planned a trip to Logan, during the Christmas Holiday, to see her and ask for her hand in marriage.  Of course as tradition would have it, that also included asking her Father for her hand.   They were both elated when I finally did ask and I was a very happy man.

The night I asked for Marlene’s hand and the night I gave her the engagement ring was a very exciting time in my life.   I was nervous all day and I planned to take her to the same location that we had spent so many other magical moments together…just under the dam on the river and up in the mountains.  
As I fumbled in my pockets to find the ring I had placed there, I finally was able to grab it and with much excitement, put the ring on her finger and asked her to marry me.  She was in tears and said, “YES” without hesitation. What a wonderful experience for me and for her as we were both overwhelmed with joy and with happiness.

Marlene CHOSE to be a great example in the lives of many and she recently was chosen by her Heavenly Father to return home where she can do much good for those spirits in Heaven and also still influence her family here on earth.  Her example, her ability to teach and her wonderful ability to write have touched many who have known her or who have simply been able to read one of her columns. 

Marlene has such a beautiful spirit and was so full of life and I now know that she is experiencing all that God offers and sees the full purpose of the plan of salvation.  Her legacy of love in this life will continue to inspire her husband, her family and all those that knew her for years to come. 

I am so thankful on this day to have CHOSEN Marlene as my dear wife, my confidant, and my best friend so that we could share our lives together here on earth.  She will be dearly missed and is forever greatly appreciated by all who knew her.

...'Til we meet again “Sweetheart.”

Your loving, caring and humble “Superman”…Verl