Got a sweet love story? Share it with us for Valentine's Day coverage
Frances Jackson of Treasure Island shared a sweet tale of how she met her husband through a Disney trip with her daughter's family. In the fall of 2006, Jackson was a widow living on the east coast of Florida. Her daughter Lisa invited her to meet her and her husband, Paul, at Disney World because his father was traveling to the United States for the first time from South Africa.
Jackson described her initial meeting with Roger Jackson outside a Disney World ticket booth: "A "handsome silver-haired man jogged toward me" and introduced himself.
"As I looked into his blue eyes, my heart leaped. He never let go of my hand the whole day and I was floating on air thinking this could not be possible to feel this special attraction that took my breath away. That was the beginning of a whirlwind romance at the ages of 68 and 72 years old."
Roger Jackson spent the next two weeks in Tampa, and the two enjoyed the time together until Roger returned to Durban, South Africa -- 16,000 miles away.After less than a year of a long-distance relationship, Roger Jackson immigrated the the U.S. and moved into his son's house in Tampa. Two months later, he asked Frances to marry him.
"We will be 70 and 75 years old in June and every time I look at his blue eyes, I feel the great happiness and love we have shared," Frances wrote. "We decided that we are really 30 again and every day is such a wonderful gift to share with this man who is the love of my life."
We'd like to hear about your love story -- how you met your significant other, why you stay together. Share your stories here and we'll highlight them in our special Valentine's Day section. Show us your photos too; here's how:
- E-mail your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and photo details in the body of the message.
- Post your photos on tampabay.com's Facebook wall and we'll upload them to our photo gallery.
- Join tampabay.com's Community Photo Gallery for free and upload your own photos.
Raymond Niski of Palm Harbor shared a tale of how he met his love. Niski met Sharon recently and they now have a long distance relationship, but he has faith. Here's their story:
"I like to go to karaoke, and On Dec 13 I dropped in at Rum Runners in Palm Harbor because it was close to my house. I noticed Sharon sitting next to the dance floor sitting with a friend. Sharon got up to sing, and she sang like an angel.
"After we both danced the night away and sang, we dated for the next month. We often walked along Crystal Beach Pier and attended the Crystal Beach Church."
"On Christmas Eve morning, I got a fateful call from my Army Reserve Colonel, and he said that I was getting deployed to Iraq for a year. I figured the odds were against this very young relationship, but Sharon and I have corresponded continuously, and I think we will prevail."
[Amy and Mark Domagtoy in Munich during Oktoberfest 2009.]
Amy Domagtoy has an unforgettable "How I Met Your Father" tale:
"I with met my husband over a cup of urine. I was applying for a job and needed a pre-employment screening and he was the lucky lab guy. The first words Mark ever said to me were, 'I need you to pee in this cup'."
"I got the job and ended up working at his clinic so we spent the next year or so getting to know each other and just being co-workers. When I became available he asked me out a dozen times before I said yes.
"At the time I wasn't sure about getting involved with anyone but Mark was persistent and eventually won me over. We got married in 2002 and now have two kids in addition to the two I had previously. We found out after we started dating that our co-workers placed bets on how long we'd last. Nine years and two kids later I guess we showed them!"
"And we are still very much in love! Mark is a wonderful father as well as my knight in shining armor."
Deborah Harvey shared a photo from her daughter Barbie's Valentine's Day wedding last year.
Jane J. Hussar of Safety Harbor shares her tale:
I was married to a wonderful man, John Hussar, for almost 33 years. We met at the University of South Florida in Tampa and married in 1974. Blessed with Jonathan in 1981 and Joey in 1984, we had a wonderful life until 2005 when John was diagnosed with lung cancer.
After losing John on September 5, 2007, I got a call three months later in December from an old boyfriend, Al Trca, from Iowa. We originally met when he was visiting Florida after his stint in Vietnam. We dated for almost a year in 1970. I was 17; he was 21. He even took me to my prom at Palmetto High School in Manatee County. We had lots of fun. I was crazy about him.
Al, his friend Doug Wilson from Bradenton, my friend Erna McAllister from Palmetto and I were to meet in November 1970 for supper at Lum’s Restaurant in Bradenton. Doug came to the restaurant and gave me some bad news. “Al left a half hour ago, and he probably won’t be back” Doug said. At 22 years old, Al returned to Iowa to care for his five brothers and sisters. His parents and grandmother were killed in a car accident that evening. We never said goodbye.
In 1972, Al came to Florida for a visit and called me at my parents’ house in Ellenton. I answered and he wanted to see me. We met up on Anna Maria Island, talked and kissed for an hour and a half, but I knew it could not lead to anything. He had to return to care for his brothers and sisters. I was in college.
In 1976, Al made another visit to Florida and called my house. My mother answered and said, “She’s married now, lives in Safety Harbor and works for Revlon. This week she is at the Maas Brother’s store in downtown St. Petersburg.” He came to see me there the next day. I was a nervous wreck. As he tells me now, I was barely nice to him. Why did my Mom tell him to come see me? That was totally out of character for her. She loved my husband John.
When Al’s friend Doug from Bradenton informed Al that my husband passed away, Doug said, “You should call her and give your condolences.” Al responded, “I’ll wait three months.”
When Al made his second call to me in December 2007, he asked, “Why didn’t you answer any of my letters? I wrote to you after my family died. Couldn’t you have answered just one letter?” I responded that I did not get any letters. The next morning my mom, Bea, age 95, confirmed that there were lots of letters, and my Dad threw them away. He was trying to “protect” me.
After 15 telephone calls (yes, I highlighted each day he called on my calendar), Al came to see me in February and again in April, 2008, He was able to visit with my mom. My family cared for her for 12 years in our home in Safety Harbor. On his first visit to see me, mom’s first question to Al was: "What are you intentions with my daughter?”
I have also made trips to beautiful Iowa. When my Mom passed away in August 2008, Al and Doug came to her funeral.
We usually talk twice a week and there have been many visits. He was in Florida recently for three weeks. I have met almost all of his family and my sons Jonathan and Joey have met Al. They like him.
Who knows where this is leading.