I arrived at the hospital on a wintry February night in 1967, given a room reserved for elderly men with little chance of surviving the night! I turned my head to look from my darkened room into the brightly lit hallway. Walking through my door was an angel, a halo of light clearly visible above her head. I had never seen such sparkling blue eyes! She took my pulse, counting the heartbeats on her wristwatch, careful to avoid eye contact with this grubby young college student. Then the fun started. Her next task was to take my temperature . . . with a rectal thermometer. Let’s just say she saw my better side first and leave it at that. I soon realized she must have been covering her eyes, for that mighty thermometer began its first of several undirected jabs in the general vicinity of my derriere. The next morning, I was disappointed when I didn’t see my angel from the previous evening. But she walked into my room at three o’clock sharp, the start of her eight-hour shift. Once again, she took my pulse and, yes, my temperature. I asked her name. She wouldn’t tell me. I begged. It worked. “Cassie,” she said. Over the next two weeks, Cassie and I spent hours talking every day, getting to know each other. If asleep, I would awaken to find her sitting at my bedside, hiding from the head nurse. The day I was to leave the hospital for the 80-mile trip home, she secretly handed me a note with her name and address. I was in seventh heaven. When I arrived home that day, I immediately began my daily ritual of crafting a long letter to Cassie, unabashedly professing my growing love. Thankfully, she wrote back. Every day.
In April, I was well enough to return to school to finish the semester. I arrived at Cassie’s house, decked out in my coolest blue jacket emblazoned with the University of Buffalo logo, eager to impress. I rang the doorbell. When Cassie opened the door, I was sure those blue eyes would never let go of my heart. It was a glorious day, the temperature already in the 70’s, two months early for Buffalo, New York. We enjoyed a day of hand-holding walking through Ellicott Creek Park in Tonowanda.
I have no doubt that our Love for each other was truly born that day, a strange force drawing us together as if destined to be so. How we wished the day would never end. From that day forward, I picked Cassie up from work every day. Two years later, we married.
And the rest, as they say, is history. What a beautiful time of life!