Feel-Good Friday: High School Sweethearts Rekindle Romance After 63 Years

Thomas McMeekin and Nancy Gambell Find Love after 63 Years. (Credit: ABC News Tampa Bay)

One of my favorite quotes, which is often attributed to George Eliot says, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” This rings even more true with those who find love for a second or third time in their golden years.


In 2004, my mother-in-law lost her husband of 45 years. The next year, she went to her high school reunion and reconnected with an old friend who was also recently widowed. They have been inseparable ever since. This week’s Feel-Good Friday is a similar story between Thomas McMeekin and Nancy Gambell. Their story culminated in an epic proposal at the Tampa International Airport which went viral on social media.

McMeekin and Gambell first met 63-years ago in high school in Quincy, California. McMeekin was captivated by Gambell, who was a cheerleader and popular.

“We admired each other from a distance,” McMeekin said. “I never thought I had a chance with her.”

They dated in college, but ultimately parted ways and lost touch. They saw each other again at their 50th High School reunion, but both were married to other people. It was 10 years after that, at their 60th High School reunion, that the spark was rekindled. They began talking and corresponding through text and email, and in short order, McMeekin bought Gambell a ticket to visit him in Florida.

From the New York Post:

The touching proposal was recorded by Thomas’ staff and posted to TikTok where several versions of the sweet moment went viral.

In a TikTok video posted by Ada Yamila Vila, Thomas greets Nancy with a hug, a bouquet of roses and a box of jewelry before sitting her down. He then places a small pillow on the ground before getting down on one knee.

“My dearest Nancy, it’s been 60 years since we first met, 56 years since we first dated, 10 years since I saw you last and 20 days since we rekindled,” Thomas began. “You have always been the one I had a crush on since your cheerleader days. Brings me a smile to my face and makes my heart skip a beat.”

“Your beauty inside and out have always captivated me. Your kindness and compassion to those less fortunate…have touched my heart.”


What an awesome romantic to put it all out there in an airport terminal of all places! The delight on Gambell’s face is evident as McMeekin gets down on one knee and proposes.

“It’s wonderful because we don’t have a lot of life left. And to be able to spend it in that way with this person is a dream come true,” Gambell said.



Here’s to second acts, second chances, and the opportunities that allow us to be what we might have been.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos