With his girlfriend slowly losing her ability to go about everyday life, one North Carolina man knew he had to pop the big question-and have the wedding-all in one day.
George Tsiolkas and Beth Wilson, both from Raleigh, met 35 years ago while working together as lifeguards at a pool during the summer of 1979.
But as the summer ended, so did their romance as they both headed off to college.
"Every time I would go through her mom's neighborhood to go to my brother's house, I always wondered what she was doing," Tsiolkas told WGHP.
Eight years ago they found each other again, and unable to deny the love they once had, got back together.
"After about a year of being together, I noticed that her walk started slowing down," said Tsiolkas.
Wilson had been diagnosed in 1995 with progressive multiple sclerosis. And with the symptoms progressing, Tsiolkas didn't want to waste any time letting her know exactly how he felt about her.
He arranged a romantic outing, blindfolding Wilson and taking her to what she believed was going to be a jazz concert. But when the blindfold came off, she saw a familiar sight-the pool where they first met, with Tsiolkas down on one knee.
The lovestruck groom-to-be proposed, Wilson said, "Yes" and they held the wedding ceremony right then and there with friends and family by their side. And of course-jazz music all night long.
"While she's able to basically function a little bit, and enjoy it a little bit, why not just throw it all together and that way she won't have to worry about it," Tsiolkas explained. " If I can do whatever I can to do to make her smile and enjoy it and have a good time, that's what I'm going to do."
- Family & Relationships
- Beth Wilson