Greenville Life Winter 2019 - Page 25

Following is one of the (most adorable) portions of our interview with Rick and Sharon Blue: Greenville Life: Tell us about your first kiss... Rick: Sharon was in a group called the “Rainbow Girls.” Sharon’s best friend was also a friend of mine because we all went to the same church together. My friend Darrell and I had sneaked away from church after the music portion was over. He said, ‘I gotta go pick up my girlfriend at Rainbow Girls, and I knew that Sharon was also there. So I said, ‘I’ll go with you.’ So we go and pick up the girls and we go out and get a Coke. We take his girl home first. I had already told Darrell, “When we take Sharon home, I’m going to walk her up to her porch and I’m going to kiss her goodnight.” He said, “Nah you won’t.” So I did. I walked her up, turned around, grabbed her and kissed her goodnight. (Laughs) She may not say so, but she loved it. “Who better than us now to be able to comfort somebody else who has lost their child – because we under- stand a little bit of what they’re going through,” she explains. Living through that tragedy has not been easy, but focusing on their love for their two sons, Philip and Paul, and on gratitude for the years they did have with Amy has helped them cope. Philip, their elder son, is now ath- letic director at Abilene Independent School District, and Paul has followed in the footsteps of his father, now serv- ing as pastor at Family Fellowship, where his father once served. “You can have whatever you want in a relationship, but you have to work for it,” Paul notes. “I’m sure my parents worked for it way more than I’ll ever know.” Rick and Sharon call their parent- ing experiences “some of the best years of their lives.” But there’s much more to their story. Sharon finished her teaching de- gree – an accomplishment that Rick re- mains proud of her for – and she used that education to help the youth at the various churches where Rick has been on staff. In addition to serving as pastor of multiple congregations, Rick authored a book to help guide others through their faith. The two still share walks together through their neighborhood in Green- ville, and they enjoy occasional date nights as well. “Nothing fancy,” Rick says. “May- be we go out for a nice meal. We’re not big moviegoers or anything. What’s the name of that last one that we watched?” Sharon replies by shrugging off the question. The life they’ve built together may not have been the perfect fairy tale they dreamed up as kids growing up in West Texas, but for Rick and Sharon, it’s come pretty close. Each new day is a blessing to them – and a reminder of the chapters they still have left to write. Says Sharon: “Every day is a vic- tory.” D Sharon: (Laughs) GL: So you felt like you were a pretty smooth operator with how you handled it? Rick: I mean, I’d have to rank it pretty high. (Laughs) GL: Sharon, what did you really think? Sharon: I know it might make me look bad, but I’d have to agree with him. (Laughs) GL: You two sure seem to still have crushes on each other after 61 years! When was the last time that you shared a kiss? Rick: Well, it was last night. I grabbed her into my lap out here in this chair and I planted one on her. Sharon: And then we were laughing because we weren’t sure how we were going to get up from that chair. GL: Sounds like you haven’t lost your charm, then? Rick: I’m still pretty smooth. (Chuckles) Sharon: (Nods her head yes) Rick: She still loves it. Sharon: (Laughs) “Even more. Even more.” GL: How did you propose to Sharon? Rick: The night that I was going to propose, my best friend, Jerry Thorp, showed up at her house because we were all friends. I couldn’t say anything so I kept waiting and waiting, but I couldn’t get rid of him. When he finally left, Sharon was in her bed reading, and I go in beside her bed and get on my knee. I proposed and I opened this ring box. And she says, “I don’t want that!” It really hurt my feelings. So I said, “Okay.” and I closed the box. That’s when she grabbed that box and said, “Yes I do!” I pulled the ring out, and I put it on her finger. GL: What was going through your mind, Sharon? Did you know that he was going to propose? Sharon: I mean we talked about it. I just didn’t think that the commitment part was going to come so soon. I just knew that “once upon a time” we’re going to get married. Rick: We didn’t make a big deal out of an engagement back then like kids today. My gosh, they set a stage for it, they have a background and everything. But whatever we did, we did right because we managed to stick it out. WINTER 2019 Greenville Life 25