A viral TikTok video that shows an elderly man proposing to his high school crush after 60 years has generations of romantics gushing over the timeless love shared between the sweet couple.
Sharing the message that it’s never too late to find love, Dr. Thomas McKeekin, a 78-year-old dermatologist from Florida, pulled off a Hallmark movie moment at the airport in Tampa when he dropped to his knee and asked Nancy Gambell, 79, to be his wife.
It was 60 years ago when Dr. Thomas McKeekin and Nancy Gambell met in high school in California, where he was a football player, and she was a cheerleader.
The two teenagers briefly dated before going their separate ways to college. In their time apart, McKeekin, married three times, and Gambell, married four times, and when they reunited 10 years ago for their 50th high school reunion, each was married to another.
@angelial.fedrick3 He was a football player, she was a cheerleader. Never give up on those crushes! ❤️🥰 #mcmeekin #quincyhighschool #fyp #lovestory #truelovestory ♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears
Over the past decade, both have become single, and with their 60th high school reunion planned for September, the two reconnected, and without pause the doctor wanted to make the woman his wife.
Hatching a plan with the support of his medical assistants, Angelia Fedrick and Samari Rivera, McKeekin decided that his beautiful love deserved a grand proposal.
“They just reconnected, and he’s like, ‘I wanna be with her.’” Rivera shared. “And that was it.”
Rivera said the office was hyped up for the doctor, who had formed close relationships with his staff, all that wanted to help him create a memorable moment with Gambell.
“He kept talking about it every single day,” Fedrick said. “All the staff were like, ‘We have to go.’”
With the doctors’ staff in tow, McKeekin headed to the Tampa International Airport on June 30 to greet his high school crush, who was flying in from California.
In the video captured by Fedrick, users see Gambell appearing out of the gates and being greeted by McKeekin, who spares no more time.
@angelial.fedrick3 Rekindled love after 60 years! There’s hope for us yet! extremely happy for you and Nancy!! 🥰❤️🤗 #DrMcMeekin #AAD #dermatology #truelovestory #retirement ♬ Beautiful Memories – Lux-Inspira
Giving her a huge hug and kiss, the man puts his arm around her and leads her to a seat, where he hands her a bouquet of red roses along with a necklace decorated with both their birthstones.
Then he pulls out a pillow, and after he drops to his knee, he grabs a piece of paper that he penned his speech.
A second video allows people to hear the speech that he reads to Gambell, who remains seated and appears overwhelmed with love.
McKeekin said, “I’ve longed to see you again, hold you in my arms, and tell you how much you mean to me…You are everything that I’ve ever wanted in a partner, lover, and friend. So, Nancy Gambell, I come to you humbly today, June 30 with a proposal. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, to cherish every moment we will have together to make every day an exciting new adventure, and to grow old with you, to wake up in your arms every morning, to share our dreams and aspirations, to laugh and to cry, and to support one another through thick and thin.” McKeekin, who is also quite emotional, continues, “I love you more than words can express and more than you can ever comprehend. I want to spend the rest of my life proving that to you, making you the happiest woman in the world. Will you Nancy, do me the honor to be my soulmate in life, my partner in every sense of the word, to be my loving wife forever?”
Tearful, the doctor says, “Will you marry me?” and Gambell, whose hands were cradling her teary-eyed face, lifts her head to look at him and says “I will.”
The growing airport crowd erupts into cheers and McKeekin throws his arms into the air and around his new fiancée.
The video, which was shared by several members of the doctors’ team at the clinic he works, has received millions of collective views with emotional responses from cyber citizens who are inspired by the endearing love.
One person writes, “Beautiful. Soulmates in youth, life happens. They live separate full lives. Find each other decades later and marry. He always loved her.”
Others say that the video gives them hope: “Oh my heart just exploded with happiness!!! This gives me hope. Praying God blesses them with continued love and happiness!” While another writes, “Most beautiful thing I’ve seen on here. Gives all hope that they will find a love like this.”
Meanwhile, one viewer noticed the doctor’s thoughtful approach to the proposal and commented on his attire: “Very rare these days. what a Blessing just watching this. He came all dressed up for his bride.”
Another netizen applauds the people behind the scenes, one that was holding a “She said Yes!” sign, writes: “So heartwarming, a movie couldn’t have done as good a job.”
Fedrick said that McMeekin is retiring in a few months and will join his future wife in California very soon.
“We had picked up a pillow so he could kneel and propose, and we got some stuff to make a sign saying, ‘She said yes,’ because we knew she would,” Rivera added. “He knew what he was going to say, and he followed through with what he was going to do. Find me a man like that.”
Congratulations to Dr. Thomas McKeekin and Nancy Gambell! These two are such a beautiful and inspiring couple and we are so happy that their lives have gone full circle, bringing them together again. We wish the two a happy and loving future!
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