78-Year-Old Man Proposes to Long Lost High School Sweetheart After Rekindling Decades Later

An older man is on his knees as he proposes to girlfriend in an airport

Photo: Screenshot from TikTok

How long would you wait for the love of your life? A moving marriage proposal by an older man is melting hearts around the world. In a video posted to TikTok, Dr. Thomas McMeekin is seen on his knees at Tampa International Airport. As he reads a heartfelt letter to his sweetheart, Nancy Gambell, she wipes away tears from her face. When he pops the big question, you can almost guarantee what the answer will be.

McMeekin and Gambell first met in high school. “I had a crush on her,” McMeekin told ABC Action News. “She was a beautiful cheerleader, and I thought she’d never accept a date because she was so pretty and everyone loved her.” Although they later dated in college, they lost touch as the years went by. “We’ve had lives and jobs and professions and children and husbands and experiences,” said Gambell.

They then spotted each other at their 50th high school reunion, but sparks didn't fly then. “I had my wife, and she was with her husband,” McMeekin told FOX 13 News. He relocated to Tampa, while Gambell lives in California.

Fast forward 10 years, when McMeekin RSVP’d to his 60th high school reunion. “Then I hear from her, and she says, ‘I'm really looking forward to seeing you again,’” McMeekin recalled. This time, the feelings finally came to the surface. “We just started talking and emailing and texting,” said Gambell. “We were meant for each other, and so I said, ‘I’m sending you tickets to come see me,'” said McMeekin.

And so Gambell flew across the country. As she stepped off a plane at Tampa International Airport, McMeekin was waiting for her. After escorting her to a seating area and carefully placing a cushion as to not hurt his knees, he declared his love. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” McMeekin said in the video of the proposal, which has been watched over 2 million times on TikTok.

Before a crowd of tearful onlookers, she said yes. Now, the happy couple is planning for a California wedding, as McMeekin is moving to the west coast to be with his love. “It's wonderful because we don't have a lot of life left,” Gambell said. “And to be able to spend it in that way with this person is a dream come true.”

The moving marriage proposal of 78-year-old Thomas McMeekin is melting hearts around the world. He decided to pop the question in the middle of Tampa International Airport.

@jobuns_ My heart!! Sweetest proposal He was so excited! #proposal #highschoolsweethearts #fyp #love #tampaflorida #tampainternationalairport ♬ original sound – Haley Solomon

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” McMeekin says in the video, which has been watched over 2 million times on TikTok.

@jobuns_ Replying to @jjayyciee ♬ original sound – Jojo

h/t: [Reddit]

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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