“I have not forgotten you, Frank”. My heart sank as I continued to read the newest message from Linda, which found its way into my ChristianMingle inbox. Frank? Really? Frank? I assumed she had forgotten me until I read a few paragraphs more. As Linda described the events of the day, I couldn’t help but wonder about Frank? After all, my name is Tony! Suddenly, after the notes of the day, there it was, the “catch” line: “LOL Take care, Tony…Seek Him Daily!” Thus began the serious side of our story.
Linda and I met through ChristianMingle’s “Member Slide Show”. When her photo first came across my monitor with the words “Think You’d Click?” I was taken aback by Linda’s radiant beauty! I wanted so badly to click on the “Yes” button but a wave of momentary unexplainable fear overcame me and I reluctantly clicked ‘Maybe’. After all, what if she didn’t like me or my profile? What if?
A few days, several nights in the chat room, numerous browsing sessions examining profiles, and an actual date or two later, Linda’s photo was presented again. Once again, I spent several minutes reading and re-reading Linda’s profile. Somehow I just couldn’t stop going back to her profile. Linda had every initial quality to which I was attracted! Over and over I read the profile, then one evening in November 2010, I almost (yeah, almost) decided to write. I saved the draft and decided to finish the next morning. When I awoke, I had a surprise in my inbox! There was Linda’s email stating how she had been reading my profile and how she had been presented with the “Think You’d Click” option, but just didn’t have the courage to click yes. She finally decided, as I had the previous evening, there was nothing to lose.
We chatted, exchanged emails, and held Bible studies online for nearly the entire month of November. Then suddenly, the communication stopped. Linda had been liquidating her assets in preparation for a permanent missions field move to Africa. I assumed she had gone forever.
37 days later, I noticed Linda online and started a chat. To my relief, the communication stopped only because she had been working very long hours. That evening, I wrote a letter detailing how I had enjoyed our live chat. I mentioned that I thought she had simply forgotten me. The reply came back “I have not forgotten you, Frank”. That settled it! What a sense of humor she had! I just had to meet this lady!
We both realized Linda would soon leave for Africa and that any friendship would be only a fleeting moment, but we decided to meet in person anyway. Both of us had tales of tragedy behind us and our one desire was to just meet someone we could call a friend who was real, genuine, and who had the capacity to love openly, sincerely and honestly. Since we lived about 3 hours apart, we decided to meet somewhere in the middle.
When I received a text from Linda “I’m here”, I trembled so badly I could barely stand up. For the first time in years, I was excited and extremely nervous about meeting someone! When our eyes locked that first time, I recalled a line from the Hemingway novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” about feeling the earth move 3 times in one’s life. For me, the earth stood still!
As we had dinner that first night, we shared testimonies of where the Lord had brought us from, of our salvation experience and of our lives. We spent 4 hours in the restaurant talking, then in and out of all night restaurants and the hotel lobby for the next several hours talking, crying, and reminiscing. As we parted company and settled in for the drive home, we were both in awe of how the Lord had taken years of pain and tragedy and somehow gave us hope.
Somehow, almost miraculously, Africa fell through and Linda soon transferred to a hospital and her own apartment just 10 miles from my home. We spent every waking moment together and grew closer than we had ever dreamed anyone could be.
We were married on June 9, 2011. There is so much more behind the story, our lives and our meeting, but, those are tales for another day.
Oh, I’ll bet you’re wondering where Ed came in, aren’t you? Well, after our first few telephone conversations before we met in person, Linda sent me a message one night: “Thanks for being you. Thanks for caring about me as a person. Makes me feel special ……………….ED.”
Now you know the story of Frank, Ed, Tony and Linda.