In late 1979, I walked away from my first marriage. It was a friendship which should have stayed a friendship. Regardless, it had yielded a son and in years to come would produce a lovely granddaughter. Clearly, it was meant to be, even if it were not meant to last.

Off to Israel I went with my son where I remained for 9 years. While I was away, Garry wrote me. Every week, 2 or 3 letters arrived in my mail box. Fan mail. As that second marriage fell apart, I lived from letter to letter, carrying the most recent one with me until the paper on which it was written fell apart.

I wrote letters to Garry too and when I got back to the States, I found he had saved them. He had a drawer full of my letters. I don’t think either Garry or I has written a letter to anyone else since.

August 1987.

I’m back. I landed at JFK Airport on August 11, 1987. Just a couple of days later, I headed north to see Garry. He would be on the Vineyard where he shared a place with work colleagues. I would join him there.

It was a magical week.

me martha's vineyard stairs

There had always been something between us. That special something had been there before and during my first marriage. While I was overseas, that something had grown stronger. Apparently absence really can make the heart grow fonder. It did for us.

Last night, Garry and I were watching a new episode of NCIS. Garry is a devotee of the show and was enthusiastically looking forward to a brand new show on which Gibbs was rumored to reconnect with another of his former wives.

Gibbs is often described by Tony (in the show) as “a functional mute.” A man who can give a monosyllabic response to even the most complex question. Garry greatly admires this quality and last night, I had a revelation. Garry really IS Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Even though they do not look like twins, they are twins of the heart, manly men who believe apologizing is a sign of weakness.

We were on our way back from a magical week on Martha’s Vineyard where we had reconnected. Reaffirmed our attraction whatever that thing was — dare I call it love? — we had between us. Both of us had survived a horrible decade. Bad choices, bad relationships. Problems at work. The years had taken a heavy toll on us.

Garry Clean Harbors-SMALLAnd here was Life giving us a rare opportunity to “pick up each others’ option.” It had always been possible, but for one reason or another reason, including a whole host of hard to explain stuff, we had never done it. If ever an opportunity had “last chance” written on it, this one did.

On the ferry ride back from the Vineyard, we talked. Or, more accurately, I talked. He listened and occasionally commented.

I pointed out we had tried pretty much everything. Our relationships had failed. Some quite spectacularly. Remarkably, we had continued to find pleasure and comfort with each other. Despite the crap we’d gone through and having been separated for nearly a decade.

“We’ve tried everything else,” I said. “Maybe this time, we should try each other?”

Garry looked at me. “Yes,” he said.

One word. Gibbs would have been proud. Any woman worth her salt would have needed a full afternoon to respond to that question. I might have required a whole weekend. But he said “yes” and he meant “yes” and about a year later, we were married and have been ever since.

So I ask you — was that not worthy of Leroy Jethro Gibbs? I think it was. Give that man his own television show!

25 thoughts on “HE SAID YES

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2015 / 10:20 am

      It was also kind of funny. I mean, after all that … just “yes”? I thought that only happened in the movies 🙂


      • smallpunches January 9, 2015 / 12:57 pm

        It was a very real post, close to home for me, one that in one sense is very similar to what I am living in at the moment. Just spent the first Christmas in 20 years with my first husband and our daughter, was a very surreal time. Thank you for sharing…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2015 / 2:42 pm

          I often feel quite surreal. Usually when I’m happy because I’m waiting for “the other shoe” to drop. Enjoy!! Good times are rare enough.


  1. Rick January 9, 2015 / 10:13 am

    Both you and Garry are very lucky to have each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Garry Armstrong January 9, 2015 / 10:49 am



  3. cordeliasmom2012 January 9, 2015 / 11:43 am

    Great “aw” post. But then I wondered – how does a man of such few words find himself in radio broadcasting? So I went over and read The Garry Page (I’m ashamed that I hadn’t read it before).

    All I can say is that you are both wonderful people, and it’s fantastic that you found each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      Ah, that’s one of the great questions. There are two Garrys, the on the air broadcaster and the private guy. They are very different. It’s interesting watching one become the other and vice versa. Like Clark Kent and Superman, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. swo8 January 9, 2015 / 1:02 pm

    Lovely love story Marilyn & Garry. At this time of your lives it is a blessing that you have each other.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2015 / 4:51 pm

      Thank you. Yes, it is. Even when he’s a pain in the butt, I’d still rather have him here than anyone else I can imagine 🙂


      • swo8 January 9, 2015 / 4:52 pm

        That says it all! God bless.


  5. John Harriman Corcoran January 9, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    This is a lovely story very well written. I think Garry may be one of those types, like many actors, who is uncomfortable playing himself, and must inhabit a character to fully express himself. I don’t base that on any data, but I have to make semi-profound declarations like that every week or could lose my critics license. fascinating series of events and you are lucky to strike while the iron is hot. In a world of seven billion people. it is said the chance of meeting your one and only soul mate are astronomical. Add in the timing factor, and you can see what a wonderful experience yours is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      Garry says I should just say “thanks” because that’s what HE would say. He says I should call you “Cork.” So, thanks, Cork.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 6:06 pm

      It was the most terse “declaration” in history, but it worked out very well 🙂


  6. Marie Lough January 26, 2015 / 4:00 pm

    Its really something to have that “ah ha” moment when you have a frAme of reference to inderstand someone. Happy for uou both – great story.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 26, 2015 / 8:01 pm

      I thought it was a remarkable moment even when it happened. I’ve known Garry a really long time and I never expected that simple “yes.”


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