Her New Romance Was the Answer to a Widow’s Prayer

Hope Irvin Marston, a widow in her 80s, asked God not for a new husband but for a friend, a man to share her life with, and before long, her prayers were answered in the form of widower Gerald Borland.


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Hope Irvin Marston: My husband and I had been married for 52 years when he passed. And because we were childless, we were very close together. We did everything together. So when he was gone, there was a big, big empty void in my heart. And so because I believe the Lord answers all our prayers, and he’s promised to give us the desires of our heart, I prayed that he would send me a special friend, a man friend. I had lots of friends.

But I needed a very special person that I could just spend time with and who would love me and I’d love him. And I believe he’ll give us the desires of our heart, so I prayed and prayed, and he did—very gently, very quietly. And here we are two years later, wow. Very, very happy and very grateful to the Lord.

Gerald Borland: It just grew. It has grown to a love affair that [is] way beyond [what] either one of us expected.

HIM: When he told me his wife had passed, that kind of opened the door. So I said, OK, we’re on the same page. And it turned out that she had passed about six months after Arthur. So I felt comfortable talking with him that I wouldn’t have otherwise if I hadn’t known. I would have just went on my mopey way, I guess. Apparently, I was pretty mopey.

GB: Soon understood that she was a very lonely lady and I figured she needed someone to talk to. And that become a goal was to make her feel better somehow. I told her I—I didn’t hear her laugh. And then one night and she called, I answered the phone and I said, “Hello, Twinkle Toes!” And she laughed.

HIM: I’m still laughing.

GB: And she still laughs. And I told her, “That’s the first time I heard you laugh out loud.” And to hear her laugh, it proves something.

HIM: Mission accomplished. We never run out of things to talk about. And the deepest—there’s no subject that’s off-hands that—that we can’t talk about. And a few that we aren’t on the same page. But we—it’s not, you’re wrong and I’m right. We respect each other. And we—”OK, well, I don’t quite agree with you, but that’s all right, I still love you.”

GB: Yeah, we don’t have arguments, but we do have discussions, sometimes rather lengthy ones.

HIM: We had a long one this morning, it’s still going on. One day I realized, Jerry’s that person you’ve been praying for. I guess I had—I’d stopped praying for—I don’t know, I’d stop praying for—I just was spending time once a week, we were spending time together. So it was a growing appreciation. And I don’t know really when I realized, hey, I really love this guy.

GB: Hope has a way of growing on you. And I find now, after two years, she has become quite essential to my well-being. When I was able to take her to meet my family and I saw the reaction of my family, I think all those things entered into the equation before I realized, you know, this is real. This is love. I love the girl. I love the lady. And the world knows it.

HIM: It was a slow developing thing. I thought he was never going to kiss me for one thing and—because he would walk me to the door when I would come this—over after—when I’m ready to go home. And he’d walked me to the door and hold my hand and give me a hug and say, good night, which is nice. I mean, that—you’d like that as a precursor to something more serious. But you know, you want to say more than just good night, call you in the morning.

So I guess this is confession time. So this one night—day, afternoon—when he was saying good night to me, because I get home before dark, I just gave him a peck on his kiss. And I said, I wanted to do that for a long time. And I left. I thought, I don’t know what’s going to happen next. And so the next time I came, he says, “Do you remember how to do this?” And he grabbed me and he smacked me good. And I said, “I remember, but I’m out of practice.” And I knew then that we were going somewhere and it’s always been…

GB: That was a come-on.

HIM: Well, he got it. I thought he was being slow. Doesn’t he know what I think of him? But I think that was probably the turning point when I knew that yeah, he’s not going to say, “Goodbye, Hope, it was nice meeting you.” And I appreciate that. He knew what I needed and he knew he had it. And I say to people, love isn’t better the second time around—we both were happily married—it’s just as good. And it’s just as sweet. It’s just as precious. And I’m grateful to the Lord that he brought us together.


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