Never Too Old To Find Love In Lakewood Part 2

Part 2 of the love story of Ron and Lillie

“Were you looking for someone?" I said to Ron. "I mean, I think we’re always looking.” Ron stopped a minute, thoughtfully, and replied, “Well I was. I would never puff myself up or anything, but a lot of women approached me, they really did, and still did up until recently. I was just not interested in that kind of relationship. I wanted someone who was honest and she had to love the Lord, that had to be number one. And I could see that in Lillie, that she really loved the Lord. That was really the big attraction because other women I talked to, if I talked about the Lord, they seemed to shy away, or they’d say, 'My dad was a preacher, or I used to go to this church,' and all that kind of stuff. Lillie seemed to be the real deal in that respect and not only in just that respect but in everything else. She seemed to be as honest as the day was long, nothing pretentious, and was the real deal and still is that way. And one thing led to another." 

"You bike, golf, play guitar, love music, and volunteer. Do you think that part of the reason you and Lillie hit it off so well is because she’s more the stay-at-home person? She was more interested in home and family events and things she was invited to join. So there’s no conflict for you to have the hobbies you have and Lillie isn’t the jealous or possessive type. Do you think, if you had met someone who had as many hobbies as you, a relationship would not have worked?" Ron replied, “Well I think you touched on the stability aspect. She’s fine with me doing my hobbies and stuff. Even when I do them I don’t neglect my part of housekeeping and sharing responsibilities. And she is very good at what she does and likes. She does more ministry than I do, does more with prayer, she's more behind the scenes than I am. She encourages me. I’m just the person that people see. Lilie agrees that she’s better behind the scenes because she is a little on the shy side, not as outgoing initially. That’s what tied the ties for me. If I had seen some kind of conflict, I may have hesitated." 

So, what Ron wanted in a woman is what he found in Lillie. Her lifestyle and ways were the whole package and complemented his lifestyle. “If I were to ever get married again, and I said I wouldn’t, it would have to be a person of God’s choosing. When I look back, it wasn’t coincidence when we met; I felt it was by divine appointment. The fact that she caught my eye immediately. First of all, she’s pretty, but she glows, you can see it, and I saw it. And we just talked a little bit on Facebook and texted and I couldn’t find a phony bone about her. And that’s another thing about her, although she loves the Lord, and is a dyed-in-the-wool Christian, she still has a sense of humor, to where she doesn’t preach the gospel all the time but it’s still a first priority. She is always smiling and joking," Ron said. I agreed with him. "As a matter of fact," he said, "that was part of our agreement, that we had to keep God first, and that couldn’t be compromised." 

What would a compromise be? I asked. “Well, living together without getting married. I know today it’s pretty acceptable."

“And what about your families?” I asked. "I introduced her to my family and they all loved her. And vice versa." “Well, what if they wouldn’t have loved her?” I asked, “Well, that wouldn’t matter”.  “Would it have mattered to you, Lil”? “Well it would not have mattered. The reason it wouldn’t is that, my sons made their choices without asking me, and my choice is to be with him.”

Coincidentally, Ron prays about everything when it comes to life decisions, especially life decisions. Should I be doing this? One more coincidence? Ron was just the kind of guy that Lillie needed: one that would keep pursuing her, one that wasn’t a player, flirty, and pushy. Just a really nice guy. And Lil was the kind of woman Ron was looking for; someone he could pursue instead of the one pursuing him. So old-fashioned. Pursuing instead of being pursued or conquering. What a grand idea. 

So with all that praying going on, both felt that God was pushing them along. Each doing what they normally do, neither one having to change for the other. Both thinking they wouldn’t get married again, but then how did this happen? “I fell in love with him,” says Lillie, although he said it first.

Lillie had some medical problems and used a wheelchair for awhile. This didn’t stop them. Ron would pick Lillie up for a date calling her Mustang Sally. He took her all around their complex and into the courtyard late at night to see the stars. Who would be thrilled to go to a parking lot on a date? She was. He took her to various places too or would come to her apartment with his guitar and sing to her. When he rode his bike, he would come past her window and ring the bell, or call her from the golf course. 

One would think there would be a proposal, some pizzazz to add to this simple story, but there wasn’t. It was a discussion. Isn’t that interesting? It wasn’t a fun-filled, creative proposal but a thought-provoking conversation with a sensible proposal that we love one another, spend lots of time together, and maybe we should spend more time together because we are a good fit. We won’t live together because it compromises our principles and beliefs. Doesn’t that say something about this whole love story about two people who truly complement one another? 

Lillie has a simple philosophy; this is me, here I am, take me as I am and I take you the same way. And this power that they believe in, this God, Jesus Christ. I think that this higher power, put those two together. He was far away in a suburb, she was in a quiet apartment with 2 cats. And through an act of God? Maybe? Not worrying about if she was going to meet anyone, die alone, grow old alone, taking care of her daily business. They both asked God and maybe He came through for them. Who am I to doubt or question the Almighty or to argue with those who believe? I believe in the Almighty, too, and though they probably have to work at it like everyone else, their work is cut in half, because they accept each other as they are. 

It’s possible some look for love in all the wrong places, or we arrived at the wrong time, or we’re at the right place, at the right time, but then something gets in our way; mostly ourselves, our expectations or observations that lead us to pretend that we have analyzed a situation correctly, or a person. That’s right, by their looks, clothes, actions, lack of action, the way that they did this or that, said this or that, or even worse, didn’t do this or that, the right way, as we expected. 

And so love is elusive to some. We really look hard to find it. We call a friend, or two or six. We call a therapist, or anyone who may have an answer. THE answer. We go on-line to find that the ones on-line are out-on-the-line, or even out-of-line, and not what we’re looking for by far. Sometimes we settle. Sometimes we’re rejected. And so, we do the thing, the self analysis. We look at ourselves, sternly, our innermost self, disdainfully. We go to places and do things to improve, improve ourselves, our chances and our futures. Alone. Mostly, we go alone, or with someone equally bored. And maybe the answer to that is this: Don’t. Leave it alone. Wait. Have patience. Have standards. Have no expectations. And, while you’re waiting, not waiting but living, while you’re living your life, doing what YOU love to do, sometimes, once in a blue moon, love happens. It just happens, it comes upon you suddenly. Lillies’ mother, the late Lois Black wrote this little poem about her beloved husband, Evat: LOVE, “It came upon me suddenly, I thought my heart was tough, it lasted but a lifetime and that wasn’t long enough.“ Love is alive, fortunately for this couple,  at the place you’d think love forgot about: the Westerly Senior Living Center, and maybe coming your way!

Coincidently, Ron wrote a second verse to the song, “Friends in Low Places,” called, “I Have Friends in High Places.” And indeed he does. 

Joanne Gibbons is a former advertising/marketing/PR person turned public servant at Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, now retired. She spends her time volunteering for the Metroparks and for the Community-Based Correctional Facility in Cleveland, working on houses and writing. She lived in Lakewood for years, and now resides in Parma.  She has four children who attended Lakewood schools and graduated, three have found careers in Colorado, North Carolina, New York, and one in North Olmsted. She has wonderful sons- and daughters-in-law, three fabulously talented grandchildren and can't wait to meet the 4th coming in May. She also has many children's books in the works and is having a blast in retirement. 


Joanne Gibbons

I am a former advertising/marketing/PR person turned public servant at Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, now retired. I spend my time volunteering for the Metroparks (haven’t actually started yet), and for the Community-Based Correctional Facility in Cleveland, working on houses and writing. Lived in Lakewood for years, now residing in Parma.  I have 4 children who attended Lakewood schools and graduated, 3 have found careers in Colorado, North Carolina, New York, and 1 in North Olmsted. I have wonderful son- and daughters-in-law, 3 fabulously talented grandchildren and can't wait to meet the 4th coming in May.  Also, love to write and am working on the many children's books in the works. I'm just having a blast in retirement. 

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Volume 17, Issue 22, Posted 12:10 PM, 12.01.2021