Time doesn’t really matter when it comes to falling in love. For some, it takes forever, while for others, just a glance. While a lot of us still struggle to find that right person, now where elders have laid out perfect examples of what it actually means. Love is a feeling that is best described in the stories of our ancestors.
Our generation doesn’t value the right person the way they should. They misuse them, cheat them, mistreat them, and take them for granted. However, in this inconsiderate world, we still get to hear so many stories that restore our belief in real love and the perfect partner.
Well, one such story comes from the past century. Peggy Harris, a widow whose journey of true love started in 1942. Peggy was an electrical instrument mechanic who hailed from Vernon, Texas. She shared her love story with the world, and to be quite honest, her love story took off with an awkward situation.
Peggy heard about her husband Billy, a lieutenant fighter pilot in the Air Force, through her workplace. She worked for Billy’s father, who was from Atlas Okhla. Billy’s father used to write letters to his son occasionally, talking to him about Peggy. He even persuaded Peggy to start writing letters to Billy, but she refused all offers. She also declined to give Billy or her father her residential address. Now that’s such a disappointment for a guy, don’t you think?
But what’s meant to be is meant to be, guys. Love soon found its way into her heart. One day, Billy, after mustering all the courage, wrote a letter for Peggy and asked his father to deliver it to her. After Billy’s first move, Peggy started feeling comfortable, and the two began to talk through letters for a long while. But, well, their motives seemed far apart.
Peggy tried to push Billy off. She told him things that she never did, only to make him lose interest in her. “I wrote to him that I loved Oprah and listened on Saturday afternoons. I thought that would turn any man off. But this guy was not going away that easy.” He was impressed by Peggy’s interests and kept writing back to her.
As for Peggy, she was not making the slightest effort to impress Billy. But this lad, folks, was so into her that everything seemed like a fairy tale to him. As they say, hard work and determination pay off. Once when he was back home on leave, if Peggy was there to avoid Billy, Peggy hid in the cockpit of an airplane. Even though she was well crouched, when Billy opened the door, he found Peggy hiding there. Surprise, surprise! So much for avoiding Billy.
Peggy’s heart magically changed that day, and since then, the pair became inseparable. And they eventually exchanged vows in Peggy’s hometown. Billy had finally got the woman he was trying his utmost best to win over.
They were happy, but their joyful days didn’t last long. The pair had been married only six weeks when the Air Force called Billy back on duty. Peggy said that he was needed on the ship and he would come back as soon as he could. But little did she know that it would take more than just patience for her to wait for her husband’s return.
7 decades. Heck, he passed seven decades of her life waiting for her husband to come back home. She did not remarry. She loved Billy and kept asking the forces about her husband and his mysterious disappearance. In an interview, she described her love: “Billy was married to me all of his life, and I choose to be married to him all of mine.”
Amazing. Well, Peggy’s constant persuasion about her husband’s whereabouts brought some hope. But then again, in 2005, she received word that her husband was still listed as missing in action. The answer wasn’t satisfying for her. And so, with the help of Billy’s cousin, they started investigating the matter.
After Alton, Billy’s cousin, finally acquired Billy’s military files, Peggy learned some shocking news. Her husband’s name was mentioned in the KIA section. Furthermore, the records stated the location of his grave in the American Cemetery of Normandy, France. That news was devastating for Peggy. She visited her husband’s grave and continued to do that many times. No matter what happens, she never forgets to send flowers from time to time.
Peggy still wanted to know more about Billy’s final moments, so she decided to visit the village of Leventis where he passed away. What she found out filled her eyes with tears and her heart with pride. The villagers told Peggy that Billy’s plane was shot down, but he somehow managed to steer his plane away from the village, saving numerous lives. The village never forgot his act of bravery and commemorated his heroics every year.
She even learned that the main street of the village was named after her husband. And while the town celebrated France’s liberation from Germany, they paid special tribute to Billy for laying down his life to save many innocent ones. There were no living witnesses alive except for a 91-year-old guy named Seval. The only memory that Seval has about the incident is him sitting beside Billy, comforting him in his last breaths.
Even now, the villagers welcome Peggy with the same respect as they had for the fallen pilot. She attended an assembly honoring the veterans at Vernon High School. The Atlas AFB Blue Knights Honor Guard presented a flag in honor of Lieutenant Billy to Peggy. “Veterans Day means so much to me, and always will,” Peggy said.
“We will always remember. Surely, we will remember Billy, and we will not forget all those soldiers in all the uniforms, in all colors, who laid down their lives for their countries. Salute to these men, and also hats off to Peggy for setting such a beautiful example of what true love really is.”