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A Remembrance Of Falling In Love

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A Remembrance Of Falling In Love

Celebrating 45 Valentine’s Days Of Being In Love With You, Marcia June Starr Ballestero.

By Martyn Ballestero Sr.

Love’s First Look

The snow fell gently in big wet flakes. It already stood 5 or 6 inches deep in the street. This was Sunday night. The first night of the Youth Revival in Albion, Michigan and I was the youth evangelist. My Dad had loaned me his year old 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix. The pastor, your father, Bro. William Starr had said that he would like for me to come for a couple of weeks and preach for him and we would start right after Thanksgiving.

I arrived about a half hour early before service that night. In the darkness, as the car slowly turned the corner onto Crandall Street toward the parsonage, the headlights illuminated you, the most gorgeous young woman I had ever seen. You clasped the open driver’s door of your parent’s automobile and waited for my car to pass. Not knowing that your future and mine would be forever tied to that moment.

Darling, as you stood by the car under the street light with those giant snow flakes cascading into your softly curled hair, my heart nearly stopped. I was totally smitten by your beauty. I announced out loud to the Lord right then, “Oh Lord, if I have to fight that while I’m here, I’m never going to win!” I fell helplessly in love with you at that moment and have never recovered.

I don’t know how I managed to preach that night or any of the other nights. It was hard to focus on heavenly thing with so much earthly beauty just sitting there looking at me.

Every day those first two weeks I secretly drank in your beauty with my eyes and ears. I memorized how you looked, and talked and smiled.  When I went to sleep in the basement bedroom at the church every night, and closed my eyes, I could still see your face.

If you remember, the orchestra sat on the platform just a little in front of and to the left of the minister’s chairs. That meant that every night of the revival, I sat almost right behind you while you played your saxophone. I had a great view of you, watching you play and worship. However spiritual we might have tried to be, I still had a great view when you stood up and sat down. I tried not to let your Father catch me stealing a peek. You looked picture perfect to me. But this was church, you know, and I had to keep my mind on spiritual things.

I almost “blew it” the first time I ever spoke directly to you. You had in your arms some red material to make a bridesmaid’s dress for yourself for Vicky Jordan’s wedding. I had just finished preaching for C.W. Shew, and with him, everything was wrong. He even preached against the wearing of red.

I tried to tease you and get you to laugh. So, lacking for a better opening line, I came out with, “You know you’ll go to hell for wearing red, don’t you?” You did not see any humor in that comment and to my knowledge, you did not respond. You just moved away. I thought, Oh boy! I’m an idiot!

I was grateful that your Mother was so approachable.  I enjoyed visiting with her.  She listened to me talk and made me feel comfortable around her.  She played a major role in our getting together I think.  I did everything I could to win her heart. She had won mine. I loved everything about her.  Your Dad made me feel uncomfortable, but I could really relax around your Mom. Your Dad was never mean. It’s just a guy thing.

Inside Information

Scotty and Jenny Teets came over to the revival from Jackson one night.  After service, Scotty, who is about six years older than I, began his “big brother” sales pitch on what a wonderful a girl you were and how lucky I would be to go out with you. I couldn’t have agreed more.  Besides, he continued, she is Jenny’s cousin and we will not only be friends but we would be family.  I liked everything about that idea I told him, besides, I said, “She’s Beautiful!”

Jenny confided in hushed conspiratorial tones, that she knew for a fact that you were interested in me.  But she continued; don’t let her know that I told you that.

Whew! You might be interested in me?  Was I hearing her right? Hallelujah! That’s the highest praise.

You? You, the girl of my dreams? Oh yes, you were the girl of my dreams alright. I had wonderful dreams about you. In my dreams, we held hands. In my dreams I held you in my arms and kissed you deeply.  In my dreams your response was wonderful beyond description. I never wanted to wake up.

I was thrilled with this new piece of inside information. However, my insecurities argued and got the best of me.  The girl who could have any boy in Pentecost. The girl who turned all the boys’ heads was willing to accept advances from me. How could that be?  I was this nerd who looked like a poster boy for a new Zits medication.  You know, the “before” shot.  And to make matters worse, the more nervous I got, the more the zits seemed to appear. I was mortified with my looks. I was horribly insecure.

The First Walk

The last Sunday night of the Youth Revival couldn’t come too soon for me. I knew I shouldn’t date and hold revivals at the same time. I wanted to get to know you better and to be with you. I wasn’t focusing on ministry, I was focusing on Marcia.

After church that last night we had a good meal and a nice visit with your family.  I said “goodnight” to your parents and you walked me to the door.  We went outside and stood in the snow and cold. It was very cold and you stood there without a coat.

We talked for awhile and I put my suit coat around your shoulders to keep you warm. When I finally offered to go to my room, you volunteered to walk with me back to the church. That was so sweet. A girl walking a guy.  It didn’t get much better than that.

When we got to the church, I didn’t want you to walk back to the house by yourself and without a coat besides, so I walked you back to the house. Memory fades on me at this point but it seems like we made 4 or 5 round trips at least that night.

We held hands to try and keep warm. There is just something about snowy Michigan nights and romance and holding hands. I was in love. I was in Love with a capital L. It felt wonderful beyond description. This was just too good to be true.

The Monday To Remember

Monday morning dawned with a snow storm advisory on the news. It looked like a foot of snow was already on the ground.  My parents had told me that the funeral of Bro Oscar Hughes was that afternoon and they really hoped I would go with them.

Your Father announced that there was a Minister’s Meeting that night and he planned to go in spite of the snow. He asked if I’d like to go with him.

I decided that Bro. Hughes funeral would go on without me. It was a no-brainer. If I agreed, I got to spend one more day near you. I chose you.

The trip to the Minister’s Meeting was uneventful, just two guys in the car talking about unimportant things. The meal was fine, as was fellowship of the brethren. Because of the bad storm, the ride home was exceedingly treacherous. The snow was deep. Hardly any cars ventured out. The going was very slow. Somehow, the conversation changed from generalities to specifics. Your father wanted to know more about this guy whose name he was hearing around his house.

“You’re not one of them Pentecostal Romeos are you?” he blurted out as he rubbed the back of his neck briskly while biting on both his upper and lower lips at the same time. There is no school that can prepare a young man for a comment like that. It just came waltzing in out of nowhere. I felt the “fear of the father” start to turn my stomach into knots.

“Oh no sir,” was all that could come out of my mouth. When I said it I just knew it didn’t sound convincing enough. But to his credit and my peace of mind he didn’t pursue that avenue of questioning. Instead he somehow must have picked up early on the fact that I just might be the guy who would get serious about his daughter. So he moved from the challenging line of questioning to the father and son mode.

He glanced at me for a moment as he still tried to stay on the slick road and confided to me a lower tone. “A man loves with his eyes, but a woman loves with her ears.”  That was a little gem of information I filed away in my brain and chose never to forget. I don’t remember any more meaningful conversation in the car that night. We were almost home and I was very relieved. The male bonding for the night was behind us. Thank the Lord.

When we arrived back in Albion it was almost 2am. Yet the lights were on and the sight and smell of candles and food created an inviting atmosphere. We were greeted by two beautiful women, you and your Mom. You both had your hair done up so pretty. And had on what looked like new housecoats that were soft looking and beautiful. The color red still stands out in my mind.

The smell of toast and hot chocolate brought us straight into the kitchen and we all sat down and enjoyed the refreshment. As if on signal your parents said goodnight as your Mom pointed out that she had made a bed for me on the couch. It was right by her bedroom door.  I had just been upgraded from staying in the church basement to sleeping in the house.

As you cleaned up in the kitchen, I quickly got ready for bed. I crawled into bed totally exhausted from the trip. I cast a skeptical eye of the slightly open bedroom door of the master bedroom. It was only inches from the couch.

You turned off the lights and came by the couch on your way upstairs to your bedroom. In one fluid movement, as you brushed by the couch, you stooped quickly and kissed me square on the lips and said goodnight as you turned and bounded up the stairs. You had turned out all the lights in the house, but you had just turned all of mine on.

Excuse me!

A few weeks later I came back through Albion on my way to preach a revival for your Grandpa at his church in Lansing. I visited awhile and ate with your family. As I prepared to go, you gave me my first gift from you. It was a birthday gift. A beautiful red shirt decorated with nice designs. It was imported and looked expensive. I really felt valued.

I thanked you for the gift and before turning to leave took you into my arms and kissed you goodbye. Your lips were so soft and yielding. It was like heaven to me. The sweetness of that kiss still lingers on in my mind. My brain and my emotions went into the “this is ecstasy” mode. Before I could come up for air, I heard “Oh excuse me!”

I turned in time to see your father rubbing the back of his neck again as he shuffled his feet on the carpet back into the other room. My first kiss to you got ended abruptly, and was not very private. But Lord, what a kiss! It was wonderful. I’ve never stopped loving your sweet kisses. They just keep getting better. Even after 45 years.

Happy 45th Valentine’s Day, My Darling! I’m In Love With You!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 11, 2010 at 8:58 am

Posted in Love, Romance

5 Responses

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    Nelda Kyzar

    February 11, 2010 at 9:53 am

  2. It’s truly a miracle to find someone that you fall in love with! ,And even more a blessing to find a Soulmate,And you’ve been blessed to find all of that in one and after all these years you can still see all that love shining in both of your eye’s and that’s one sign that always great to see around married people! So I wanted to say that may both of your love shine on forever!

    Sis Annette Wood

    February 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm

  3. Even knowing the story, it was awesome to read it. How romantic you two are!!! Love you both & am so glad you found each other!!!


    February 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm

  4. Thank You Honey, I can say from my heart that I have been in Love and Romanced 45 years. Your so tender and have never stopped expressing sweet words and compliments and “I Love You” is a daily for us. I have been so blessed and I cherish you and respect you and you never grow old to me. Love and Kisses never stop. Marcia


    February 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

  5. Oh my word. This is the sweetest valentine I have ever heard!! What a lucky girl!

    Lani Ellingsworth

    March 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

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