She thought back to the days of when they first met every time that she looked at that old frame, even from the side, with the picture of them in their heyday - very young and full of spunk - and they loved each other so much - she felt a surge of that love again.
She wheeled over to get a little closer so she could see it better. The picture was in black and white because it was taken a long time ago. She remembered, "I think it was taken in the forties - yes it was the forties," she thought.
The picture frame wasn't very fancy. It was a wooden frame but it was carved nicely. Her husband had carved it and made it special to fit the picture. The picture was big for its day, a portrait - and he made a special folding bracket in the back so that it could either stand up or be hung from a wall. That was not widely available then, not as now.
Tilly got a little closer to the picture because she had to these days, and put on her special glasses for seeing things close up. She looked at it.
There they were, young as could be sitting on the rail of the corral and smiling. Inside the corral was her favorite horse. She remembered that horse very well. She wasn't her horse but she was a good horse and Tilly liked visiting with her.
That was the ranch that her family visited when she was younger, a teenager. That's where she met her husband. He was working at the ranch on a summer job and the two of them just clicked.
They stayed in touch over the years through school. She went to college and he went to trade school and became a Farrier - shoeing horses - and she didn't realize then that their friendship would grow into something that lasted her whole lifetime.
She didn't think he did either at the time but later on when they were married finally, she found out that he had always had his eye on her and had fallen in love with her - deeply in love when they had first met.
She, on the other hand, liked him very much as a friend initially but over the years through college and the hard work and the study and onward afterwards to getting her medical license and becoming a General Practitioner just like her father - she felt through those years of study and working and practice that there was something missing in her life.
She wrote weekly to her friend but the older she got and the more into her professional work she got, she realized that she didn't know anybody or appreciate anybody or really - by that time in her life - she admitted it - she didn't love anybody as much as she loved Bill.
So, after she completed her residency she decided that she owed herself a trip and she took that trip back to Duluth, Minnesota where Bill had his Farrier practice and she didn't tell him she was coming.
She figured that if she'd see him, if he was married, she'd smile and shake hands and shake hands with his wife and meet his kids and so on - she didn't know, she wasn't sure, she wasn't as confident as she got to be later - in his love.
She went to his place where he worked on the horses and there he was - and lo and behold - she couldn't believe it - there was a picture of her on the wall next to his tools.
He was working cleaning his tools when she walked in. Of course he was older and she'd seen a couple of pictures that he'd sent but he wasn't much into pictures although she liked photography very much.
Tilly made a little sound, "Ahem" and he turned around slowly and his face lit up and his eyes were wide and he walked slowly towards her and there were tears at the corners of his eyes.
He said, "I was afraid I'd never see you again," and she said, "I knew I had to come." They hugged each other and she said without shame very quickly, "Are you married?" and he said, "No." And he said just as quickly, "Are you married?" And she said, "No." And he said, "Well, let's do something about that." Within three weeks they were married and they were married for fifty years.
He had recently passed away and now a day didn't go by when she didn't wheel over in her chair and stop and look at that picture and know that true love lasts and sometimes it lasts even longer then you thought it would and sometimes it lives on forever.
Happy Valentines Day.