It was a cold March night in Omaha and 39-year-old Homer Smith had time on his hands. Single for the first time in over 20 years he chose a roller-skating rink as a refuse from loneliness.
There was nothing unusual this night as he circled the maple wood floor. The music would drown the low roar from the 8 spinning wheels strapped to every skater as always. The light bouncing from the mirrored ball hanging center to the room glittered across the floor and walls as was accustomed.
It was not till they called for the advancing couples skate that Homer’s night would become extraordinary. This innocent game on wheels was about turn two lonely hearts into one beautiful life. The rules were simple, couples would skate around the floor holding hands as the music sang. When the whistle blew you changed partners to skate with another till the whistle rang again. This would repeat until the end of the deejay’s spin.
Homer started that skate with an acquaintance from skating past. The whistle would be heard 4 times before silence would rule the floor. At the end of this nights playful skate the lights would find Homer looking into the smiling eyes of 36-year-old Elaine Brown. A slender beauty, a young widow and single mom. Homer’s feigned confidence was betrayed by a nervous chuckle in his voice as introduced himself, never letting go of Elaine’s hand.
When the music returned their hands refused to part leaving no choice but to skate out the night. The next Monday Homer bought a single red rose and presented it to Elaine. They have skated through life together since that night in 1976. Every Monday for the next 28 years without fail Homer presented Elaine a single red rose till she convinced him he had long proven his love and the fragile rose was now overshadowed by his unyielding commitment to their union.
Homer worked for the Union Pacific railroad during the day and together they built a home rental business at night. Buying older homes, fixing them up and renting them out. They are fair, honest, hardworking and God-fearing people who built more than just a part time business, they built a legacy of love.
In 2021 Homer celebrated his 84th birthday on the eleventh of November. At that time the two had been married for over 41 years. They have traveled 117 countries. Floated over seventy ocean cruises and have the pictures to prove it. The have never been separated since. Even when Elaine was hospitalized from an illness after a cruise Homer could only find rest in the chair beside her. Genuine love travels well.
I am pretty sure if you looked up the word devotion in the dictionary you would find their picture as an example of true and enduring love. You will notice in the current picture they are wearing matching shirts. Elaine is an accomplished seamstress and on all their trips she buys material to make same-a-like outfits. Everyday, 7 days a week the two dress the same. Some have giggled at that custom. Homer and Elaine don’t care for they have discovered and lived out what Holy Matrimony really means. They are happily reaping the rewards of a rich relationship.
What is the secret that transformed a plain night at a skating rink into a beautiful love story? I remember when Homer and Elaine first got together, he told me that as far as family and friends were concerned, “if they love me they need to love Elaine, because If they don’t want her in their lives, they won’t have me either.” That taught me the importance of putting your spouse first above all others in a relationship. Homer and Elaine daily enjoy the bliss of holy matrimony by a commitment that nourishes everlasting love.
Both are in their 80s now and I sat across the kitchen table with Homer recently. He repeated what I have heard him say many times. “Andy, I love her more today than I did yesterday and every day she is more beautiful than the day before.” Real beauty is easily seen through the eyes of true love.