78-year-old proposes to high school crush at airport after 60 year wait

Jul 22, 2023
Thomas McMeekin and Nancy Gambell have gone viral with their heartwarming airport proposal. Source: TikTok @jobuns_

There are many common sayings about love out there. A particularly popular one is “if you love someone, set them free; if they come back to you, it was meant to be”. This phrase couldn’t be truer for Thomas McMeekin and Nancy Gambell and their 60-year-long love story in the making.

The couple recently gained internet fame after a video recording of their airport proposal went viral on TikTok.

The pair, both aged 78, were high school sweethearts 63 years ago, but only really started their love story after reconnecting at their high school’s 60th reunion.

“She was a drop dead gorgeous cheerleader. And so I admired her from a distance,” McMeekin told TODAY.

McMeekin and Gambell had only gone on two dates when they were younger before McMeekin moved overseas for 6 months and met his first wife, to whom he was married to for 30 years.

The pair wouldn’t see each other again until their high school’s 50th reunion, but each still had their own respective relationships. Except for this time around, they managed to keep in touch.

Fast forward 10 years later, and McMeekin and Gambell made plans to go to their high school’s 60th reunion together.

“And then we called. We talked for hours, hours every day. From June 10 until now, we fell in love again,” McMeekin said.

@jobuns_ Replying to @jjayyciee ♬ original sound – Jojo

Weeks later McMeekin said he was ready to propose and invited Gambell to visit him in Florida.

On the day of her arrival, McMeekin had a marriage proposal waiting for Gambell.

“I couldn’t wait. I surprised her. She arrived at the airport and she didn’t know what was happening,” he said.

“And I dropped down on two knees and I read my proposal. We’re both crying. And then I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And she said ‘Yes.'”

The heartfelt moment was captured on video and shared on social media, warming the hearts of everyone who watched it.

“I wish these two all the happiness in the world. This made me cry my eyes out, I felt like I was there,” one user commented.

“A beautiful reminder that it’s never too late and this kind of love is worth the wait,” another added.

“They’re both precious! I pray they have a wonderful marriage full of love and happiness,” wrote a third.

According to Gambell, she never saw the proposal coming.

“Expecting to find this kind of love, anytime, is kind of hard to imagine, but especially in this last few chapters that we have,” she said, adding that she “did want something like this to happen.”

“And I think part of why it happened was because I asked for it to happen. I asked the universe,” she said.

The lovebirds plan to get married this October at Gambell’s Californian home.

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