This past Easter Sunday, Larry and Susan were sitting outside his sister's house in Arizona when he popped the question.
“He looked at me with tenderness—his face bathed in the moonlight—and said, 'You don't feel like a girlfriend...you feel like a wife.'” A little while later, he slipped a ring on Susan's finger and asked her marry him.
Susan told CatholicMatch, “It feels like we are holding hands while jumping off a cliff... only the cliff is not a cliff at all but a step toward a new life together in Christ.” It's a new life that may not have happened if Susan hadn't overcome her hesitancy to click on Larry's profile.
Three weeks after Susan, 55, had joined CatholicMatch, she received some possible matches. “I was hesitant to view their profiles because doing so alerts them that you viewed their profiles, and I was still testing the waters at this point.” While looking at the tiny profile photos, one of the members stood out to her because she noticed that he was wearing a hat, but she still didn't bother to click on his profile.
A short time later, when she was reading the CatholicMatch Member Forums, she happened onto a post that grabbed her attention. She was attracted to how beautifully the member wrote about his faith and the workings of the Holy Spirit in his life.
Intrigued, she checked to see who he might be; she was surprised to see that familiar hat in the member photo. Susan discovered that this was the same hat-wearing member matched with her! She felt compelled to click on Larry's profile and to send him a message about how she was drawn to his forum writing and his big family.
“He was older [64-years-old] and lived far away, so I wasn't really thinking that this could be 'the one.' I was hoping for friendship grounded in our faith in God and love of the Church,” she says. However, the couple realized that they had much in common and the relationship progressed quickly. They got to know each other better by talking daily on Skype.
God gave them many signs that He approved of the relationship, but Susan felt some trepidation about their fast-moving romance. She was afraid of getting hurt and of hurting Larry; plus, she had a teenage daughter to consider. Many years prior, she had been in a marriage that didn't work out and was later annulled by the Church.
Larry seemed to be able to read Susan's heart and was always gentle and understanding. He was never judgmental of past mistakes. “I always felt peaceful after talking to him, and I gradually began to fall in love with him.”
A month after they began communicating, the couple met in person. Larry drove 13 hours from Philadelphia to Northern Maine to meet Susan and her daughter. “When he opened the door to my house, his gentleness and smile hit me like a warm breeze. We hugged and our bodies fit; my heart melted.”
Larry, a graphic designer and fine artist, was married for 38 years until his wife died five years previously. Spending a week with Susan and her daughter, he quickly knew that Susan possessed the qualities that he wanted in a wife. “In her, I have found that mysterious combination of belonging, love, and adventure, which I have come to identity with the Holy Spirit's leading in my life. Our shared desire to submit and surrender our lives and our wills to God's Divine Will has revealed itself daily in our ability to surrender to each other. I find all this vastly attractive,” he says.
Larry and Susan are looking forward to toasting their nuptials on May 1st, 2015, the Feast of St. Joseph.