William was working to move on from the passing of his first wife six years earlier, and what he was trying wasn’t working. The 68-year-old Iowan told CatholicMatch that “I wasn’t going to support groups but that wasn’t doing it. My wife wasn’t coming back and I was looking for someone to talk to.” His daughter suggested CatholicMatch and he was amenable.
Gladys had also been widowed for six years and also got the suggestion for CatholicMatch from a daughter. Sixty nine years old and living in Oklahoma, she found inspiration from an image she owned which was built around the saying “Life Isn’t About Avoiding The Storm—It’s About Learning To Dance In The Rain.” The one thing she was missing was the caption for the photo.
Neither one was looking for a long-distance relationship. In fact, even when they connected online, neither had any thought of ending up together. William candidly told Gladys that if she lived closer he’d be on her doorstep. But the 400 miles that separated them was a big chasm.
Over the course of a Saturday and Sunday they began an e-mail exchange, with each replying about every 15-20 minutes. That led to a phone conversation for a couple more hours. “By the time it was over I was thinking that maybe 400 miles wasn’t so far after all,” William recalled. And one other thing came out over this weekend—William had on his wall, the caption for the image that was incomplete for Gladys.
Gladys hadn’t been looking for long-distance any more than William had, but she was looking for a man of faith. And William shared more than her Catholic faith, he shared her commitment to the daily prayer of the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
So when he got in his truck and made the drive to Oklahoma, they had a strong foundation to share a good weekend together. “She was exactly how she presented herself,” William said. “If she hadn’t, I’d have turned around and come home.” As it was, they made plans to meet again in three weeks.
On the ensuing trip, they went to a nearby park so they could sit by the lake. In recounting the evening, both laughed over William’s parking of the truck in the middle of the road and being corrected by a ranger, who gently pointed out they were the only ones in the park and there was room to park elsewhere. But once the evening got underway they not only enjoyed the beauty of nature, but William proposed marriage and Gladys accepted.
This past April they were married and are settling into their lives together. Currently they spent a lot of time traveling back and forth. They plan to keep Gladys’ home in Oklahoma and are in the process of building a new house in Iowa that will be their permanent residence. With a combined seven children (four on William’s side, three for Gladys) there’s plenty to keep them busy.
“Gladys has filled my heart with sunshine,” William told CatholicMatch. Gladys got the caption that completed her image—and she got much more.