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How He Won Her Heart

My favorite Christmas love story ever....

Think of the most romantic place that you could take someone for a first date.
Where would it be?
A four star restaurant?
A play?
Picnic in the park?
C'mon now, think hard. 
You've worked hard to even get this date in the first place.
Where are you going to go to set the stage to win her heart?

How about Midnight Mass, Christmas morning, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC?
That's exactly where my father took my mother over 50 years ago on their very first date.

She was a new hire at the accounting firm where he worked in NYC.
As my father would tell it, he noticed her smile, her red hair... and her legs...and he'd say that last part smiling.When asked what her first impressions were, my mother would say in mock horror...He was my boss! but then add that he was a sharp dresser and that he had "kind eyes"
They struck up a conversation at lunch one day and found out that they were both from Staten Island, and that they took the ferry into the city.
He started to look for her as she boarded the ferry, when he spotted her he'd wave her over and give her his seat. They'd talk about people they knew on Staten Island, their interests and their families. They never seemed to be at a loss for words.
My mother said that she looked forward to seeing him on the ferry each day, but wondered if he felt the same way...
God bless the day he finally asked her on a date!
She thought that day would never come.
It was right around Christmas time and he asked her if she wouldn't mind spending Christmas Eve together.
It would be a dinner dance and then they would be doing something later that night in the city that would keep them out well past midnight, and that part was a secret. Of course her curiosity was killing her about the secret and "the hour", but since he was a gentlemen, and she knew where he lived and worked, she trusted him enough to say yes.

As they ate dinner and danced on Christmas Eve, they talked and joked. She was hoping that he'd drop a few hints about the secret but there was nothing doing.
After dinner they walked for a bit, chatting and admiring the Christmas lights and decorations along the city sidewalks. It was getting near midnight and my mom was really getting quite anxious...she wasn't a night owl and hoped the mystery part of the date was happening soon.
My father then said that they had to start heading for the surprise destination...a short walk away.
When they started walking up the steps of St. Patrick's my mother was quite surprised and very excited. She had always wanted to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Morning at St. Patrick's.
"How did he know?", she asked him.
"A little bird told me", is what he answered.
She "fell in love with him on the spot", as she put it.
She knew that morning that this was the man that she was going to marry.
That same little bird told her.

God Bless You Daddy...Merry Christmas and Thank You!
We Miss You.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate...glad tidings of comfort and joy to all.

Peace ~ Rene


  1. What a beautiful memory your Father gave to your Mother and his children.
    Rene, thank you for sharing it with us, it is a wonderful story of love and romance.
    He must have been an amazing man. I am sorry for your loss.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. What a great love story!! Seriously great!!

    But I'm sure you know that :)


    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  3. I LOVE this story, Rene. Thank you so much for sharing. xo

  4. what a cool story...could not help but smile. hope you and your have a great christmas!

  5. Sometimes you just know. It's always in the eyes. I'm sorry you lost him.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. Rene, knowing you from your writing, this story is as beautiful as I would've expected.

    Your father sounds a lot like mine.


  7. A beautiful love story, Rene.

    An honorable man.

    May your heart and home be filled
    with Peace and Happiness during
    this holiday season.

  8. wow!! this is a beautiful love story!!

  9. Another great first date place is St. John the Divine in NYC, the day they bless the animals.

  10. I love this story. So sweet and romantic.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Rene, this is the best! What a beautiful love story. I can understand why you miss your Daddy!

    When we were in NYC a few weeks ago, the one thing I wanted to do that we didn't (alas, got up too late) was to go to attend a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral. It wasn't Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, but you've inspired me to make sure we go there next time.

    Peace and love,

  12. Sweet memories, Rene. How lovely.

  13. That was a truly warming and wonderful story Rene. Lovely.

  14. total sweetness...
    and it lives on.

    peace, Rene~

  15. I soo can picture their ferry rides...their easy chit-chat,
    her smile and his kind eyes...

    A favorite love story for sure.
    Beautiful, Rene!

  16. Merry Christmas!! From me and my buddy Otin

    That was a beautiful tribute to the love of your parents and your memories of Dad!

  17. Great story. And those are your parents...what a fabulous thing to pass on to kids, grandkids, etc. Loved it!

  18. What a beautiful story Rene. Thanks for sharing.

    And thanks for a year's worth of great writing. I've enjoyed it all so much.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  19. In December of 1990, I went to work for Mercantile Stores Corp, who were in the process of moving their corporate headquarters from Manhattan to Fairfield, Ohio. Because of this transition, I traveled to NYC (for the first time in my life) that month and a co-worker who was from the old corporate crowd took a couple of us on a walking tour of the city. This included dinner at a little Cajun place, Macy's window, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral, where we got to hear the choir practicing for the Christmas Eve service.

    Your dad is one smart guy.

  20. Oh, such a beautiful story, and photo!!! This one brought tears to my eyes and lump to my throat!!! Merry Christmas to you and all you love!!! You are a treasure! ~Janine XO

  21. St. Patrick's Cathedral? For a first date?

    Good lord, I can't compete with that. That's brilliant and lovely and so sweet. wow.

    Lucky mom :)

  22. Oh my gosh, I am goosebumps all over, tears fill my eyes, I am swooning adn melting all over. I LOVE THIS! Sooo sooo romantic. Wow. thanks you for sharing. I am almost shaking from it truly. How wonderful to have had such a thoughtful Dad too.


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