Letters from New Zealand were arriving fast and furiously. They were diary letters. Every event was written about and we got to know each other really well. Tony’s dad Doug, wrote a couple of times and I fell in love with him too. He talked a bit about the old Tony but talked lots about the new one and how happy he was that I was in his life. Betty also wrote to me, quite concerned that I knew what I was getting myself into.
We had been writing to each other for about a year and things were getting serious. Tony was doing a course in a Bible College, painting houses and working in a restaurant. He was saving up every penny to get a ticket to South Africa.
Before he came he had to make sure it wasn’t going to be a waste of time and money. We arranged to fast together over a weekend. On Monday evening, Cathie Beattie and I were lolling around in the lounge when the phone rang. It was Tony. We had a brief chat about life in general and then he said, “I love you and I really want to marry you. Will you marry me?”
Cathy was watching me from the couch. She heard me say in a very calm voice, “I would love to.”
Her eyes got bigger and she stood up waiting for me to put the phone down. “So???”
“He asked me to marry him.”
“What! How can you be so calm!?”
We started to hug and jump around the lounge, screaming with excitement.
That wasn’t enough for Tony. He needed to make sure he wasn’t going to get to South Africa and be sent home. Within a week he asked the same question on a cassette and in a letter. I said yes three times.
I was sure about him, but for a little while there, I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up my single life. I had always said I wanted to get married at 25. Now I was 25 and I was having doubts. I put my concerns in a letter. I was happy being single. I loved my life. I was busy and content. Did I really want my life to change? His calm reply calmed me down and I started to get excited about being married.
One of the big things we had talked about was his call to India. Before he asked me to marry him he asked me if I was willing to live in India with him. He made it clear that if my answer was no, we could not go ahead with our relationship. He didn’t want to drag his wife kicking and screaming to India. I was willing to go anywhere and so that was settled.
It sounded so simple. We were going to get married and move to India.