Regina Merrick – Real life Romance – Part 2 of 3



Romance on Wheels

My husband and I didn’t have what you would call a “normal” courtship. Oh, we started dating young – I was fifteen, he was eighteen. I was in high school, he was on his way to the local university. 

And while the first couple of years seemed like every teen girl’s dream, the kicker came that second summer, when dear hubby decided he wasn’t sure how he felt, and we broke up. OK, so I still roll my eyes when I even THINK about that, but he was sincere. Trouble was, in the meantime, my parents received a call into volunteer missions. I thought, “OK, we’ll be gone a couple of weeks in the summer, then we’ll come home and I’ll resume my life, such as it was.

Turned out, that fall, my family moved out of state to fulfill that call to missions at a church campground in Indiana—but not before I had a bulky class ring on my finger. I was devastated and elated all at the same time. Here I finally had a boyfriend, one who cared enough to make a commitment even though I was moving 250 miles away, and I was moving? Honestly. 

So we “went steady” long-distance. He called, he wrote letters (such wonderful letters!), he came up for visits, usually bringing one or the other of my grandparents with him (you know they loved HIM!), and by the time we had gone on this way for a little over a year, in my senior year of high school, things had gotten serious. 

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you the date or time, but one evening on the way home from a date, he asked me to marry him. It wasn’t a surprise. It wasn’t one of those down-on-one-knee mind-blowing proposals, but just a humble declaration of his love and commitment. 

We told my parents together, a little while later, but I didn’t get my ring then. I wasn’t sure just when I would get it, but we had decided to wait on the wedding until he graduated from college. I was thinking probably the next Christmas.

That next spring, on my 18th birthday, he was coming for a visit—without the grandparents, this time. It was late, and I figured we’d just hang around the house when he got there, but he insisted we go out, just the two of us. I didn’t argue. We went to one of our favorite places, Pizza Hut. I know, romantic, huh? J Usually we’d go, order a large pizza, I would eat two pieces and he’d eat the rest. 

When we came out of the restaurant, He opened the door for me to get in the car, I scooted over to the middle (don’t try this at home, kids—there were no seatbelt laws then!), then he went around and got in on the driver’s side. He leaned across me to get something out of the glove box. I didn’t think anything of it, since he’d traveled there that evening. I thought he probably wanted to give me my birthday present before we got back home. Maybe it was in the small compartment? 

It was. He pulled out a small velvet pouch. In that pouch was a tiny velvet box. Inside the box was a diamond solitaire engagement ring. There in the parking lot of Pizza Hut, he once again asked me to marry him. I was floored. 

Needless to say, I spent the next several months staring at that ring, noting that the facets caught the light especially well at church, in that particular lighting. I never took it off.

In fact, it has seldom been off my finger since that night in 1982.

My mother-in-law told me that he had bought the ring a few weeks before my birthday, and she would catch him, box in hand, just staring at it, noting for himself how the light caught the diamond’s brilliance. 

And that’s the story of my engagement. So how did we plan a Kentucky wedding from Indiana, 250 miles away, with my parents planning yet another move? This time, to Wyoming? Stay tuned…

Come back June 18th for the final installment of Todd & Regina’s happily-ever-after. Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of White Roses.

13 Responses to “Regina Merrick – Real life Romance – Part 2 of 3”

  • What a beautiful story, Regina, and definitely romantic. I’m just wondering, after all these years is he still that way? Do you still go to Pizza Hut & remember?

    BTW – Love the car. At first glance I thought Starsky & Hutch … but then I looked closer. 🙂

  • Alas, the Pizza Hut in question is in Indiana, so we don’t go to that particular one. We DO still eat a lot of pizza, though! LOL And yes, he still surprises me from time to time – usually when I LEAST expect it. When I expect it, nada… 😀

    That was such a sharp car. I truly wish we still had it. Unfortunately two wrecks did a number on it – but nobody got hurt, just the poor car…

  • Regina,
    Absolutely love the car. So Starsky, one of my teen loves. When I saw the car, it had to go in the post.

  • Oh, and he brought your grandparents to see you. What a guy. Very impressive. Just think of the stilted, generation gap conversations for miles and miles and miles.

  • Fortunately, my husband is a talker. I tell him he’ll be a big hit in the nursing home when he’s 90, because ALL the little old ladies love HIM! LOL What am I saying, he’s ALREADY a hit any time he goes to a nursing home!

  • We were married at a young age. Have been married for 55 years and have 5 children, 12 grand-children and 6 great-grand-children. God Bless
    Janice Carver

  • Kim says:

    That’s such a beautiful story! Real-life romances are always so touching! I really liked learning about your story!
    I especially liked this part:

    “My mother-in-law told me that he had bought the ring a few weeks before my birthday, and she would catch him, box in hand, just staring at it, noting for himself how the light caught the diamond’s brilliance. ”

    God bless!

  • Janice, you are my goal – except for the five children part. That ship has sailed! 🙂 I plan to be married at LEAST that long! God is good!

    Kim, glad you liked my little story. It just goes to show that even the ordinary has a few non-ordinary elements that liven things up a bit!

    Wait until you hear about the cow…. 😉

  • laura frantz says:

    HI Shanon, Your site here is just beautiful! And I love learnng more about Regina and her own historical romance:) Great pics! There’s something very touching and sweet when you find your lifemate at a young age and can grow old together. I agree with Kim – that part belongs in a novel! Bless you all.

  • laura frantz says:

    I do know how to spell SHANNON! Sigh:)

  • Emily says:

    He STILL does that with the pizza. We just have to get more now.

  • Hi Laura,

    Thanks so much for checking us out. I’m really enjoying the romances I’ve compiled so far. It’s okay about my name. Most people call me Sharon.

  • Lynn Bucher says:

    Loved the “official” proposal at a Pizza Hut, Regina. And the same part Kim quoted. There is something heart-melting about a man being so in love he can’t keep his eyes off the ring.

    Shannon – This is the first time I’ve visited your blog. I love it and will try to keep up with it in the future.


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