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A Valentine’s Day saga of one last love note

Staff writer

For Mick and Noreen Weems, Valentine’s Day of 1958 was a perfect day for a wedding that would remain an evolving love story for almost 60 years.

Open-heart surgery claimed Mick’s life in December 2017, making the holiday bittersweet for Noreen this year as she reminisces about her sweetheart and fond memories, while bringing life to new traditions and incorporating part of old ones that were such a special piece in her life for nearly six decades.

Weems, a lifelong Peabody resident, purchased a Valentine’s Day card for her husband this year although he won’t see it, but she couldn’t bring herself to pick out an anniversary card as she had for so many years before. Instead, she wrote him one last love note to keep his memory alive in her heart and to aid with the grieving process.

“Happy 60th anniversary to my valentine, my partner, and my friend,” she writes. “We had a great journey filled with adventure, family, friends, travel, and many blessings. Praise God for them all. Love, your valentine, Noreen.”

What the love note doesn’t cover is the immense amount of love and respect the two had for one another — qualities that helped keep their marriage alive through many heartaches. The two suffered the loss of two daughters and a great-grandson during their marriage.

“It was hard, but would have been even harder to go through all of that without such a good partner and friend,” she said. “I knew how much I’d miss him, but never dreamt it would be this hard.

“He told me he had a good life and a good wife, and he didn’t know what else he could have done. He wanted his life to be a celebration, so that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

The duo’s love saga began at a choir practice. The boyfriend of one of Noreen’s friends brought his cousin along to eat. Noreen’s friend wanted her to come meet him.

Reluctant until she was able to check in with her parents, Noreen agreed to tag along to the diner that fateful day.

Mick, obviously smitten, invited her to the State Fair that weekend. Noreen had already been to the fair with the high school band and was anxious about getting approval from her father to go for a second time.

“My dad wouldn’t give me a final answer until he raised his eyebrow at Mick, asked if he was a good driver, and made sure he’d have me home early,” Noreen said.

That fateful official first date led to three children, four grandchildren, one great- grandchild, and a love story fit for a big screen.

“He was my dreamboat and my Elvis,” she said. “He had this dark curly hair and wore cleats on his shoes.”

Among the memories Noreen treasures from the days they first started dating, dancing is one of the fondest that comes to mind.

“We’d go out with our friends on a smooth sand road and park the cars at an angle,” she said. “We’d turn the radio up and just dance. I remember dancing to “Heartbreak Hotel.” We weren’t the greatest dancers, but we both tried.”

What’s the key to having so much to celebrate on a day dedicated to love? Noreen says you need God to hold you together, and through that you have a togetherness with each other.

“You have to take time for one another,” she said. “Give each other space, but not too much. Hold on to one another and hold on to the memories.”

While this Valentine’s Day will be bittersweet for Noreen, thanks to her family members, new traditions will begin.

“Mick and I always used to eat at IHOP and go watch a couple movies at the theater,” she said. “My granddaughter Ashley’s fiancé called me and asked if I had plans for the day. They picked out a movie they think Mick would have liked and want to take me.”

While her heart aches for her Elvis, Noreen remains thankful for the almost 60 years she was blessed to spend with her husband.

“He always used to tell me I was the love of his life,” she said with wistfulness in her eyes. “That has a little bit of a different meaning to me now. I can definitely say he was the love of mine.”

Last modified Feb. 14, 2018

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