THEeisa Holland-Nelson had been single for 18 years and had no plans to remarry. Of course, she had had beautiful but nothing she wanted to commit to. That was until, on a whim, she signed up for a partner on online dating site Zoosk.
At 71, you might think it’s far. On the contrary. Retired Austin businessman Bob Bowman, also 71 at the time, reached out within 30 minutes of Leisa’s registration. “He was so handsome,” she said, “I replied.” It was December 21, 2018.
Her criminal partner over the previous eight years had been her beloved dog Jake, who was sadly dying of cancer, making a trip to Houston unlikely. Leisa and Bob texted and talked on the phone every day. After a month of not being able to make the trip to meet, Leisa suggested meeting halfway over lunch in Brenham.
âThe lunch was wonderful,â she recalls. “He was better in person and he said he knew I was the ‘one’ at the time.”
It was late January 2019. A month later, Jake passed away. Bob finally arrived in Houston in March. He met Leisa’s daughter and son-in-law, Laura and Ben Rose, and their two precious young daughters.
âAfter the visit Laura called me and said ‘Mum he’s so great, please don’t tell him you’ll never get married again’,â Leisa said. “I answered by the fact that on our first call, I introduced myself and I told him that!”
River Oaks District
Marriage or no marriage, romance has accelerated to flourish fully. There were plenty of three- and four-day visits and Leisa lit up Facebook with images of the younger-than-spring couple. A successful road trip in July together sealed the deal. He moved to Houston in September.
âBob was everything I could want from a man, a partner, a husband, a friend. So I wanted to marry her, âsays Leisa.
In October, the 72-year-old took Laura Rose to lunch and asked for his mother’s hand in marriage. Leisa thought the real proposal would come about on an upcoming trip to New York.
In mid-October, less than a year after their first meeting, Bob organized a date night at Tony’s (their place of happiness). Leisa, Partner and Vice President / CMO of ASTOUNDZ, was stuck in a business meeting and was 90 minutes late. When she opened the door to their house, Bob, dressed in an elegant suit, was waiting for her and led her into the living room filled with long-stemmed red roses and an ice-cold bottle of Dom Perignon awaited her.
âHe fell to his knees, asked me and dazzled me with the ring,â she said. âI didn’t like him on my own there, so I got on my knees too. . . I said yes. . . we went to Tony’s. . . it was so much fun! “
They went to party with a table in Tony’s romantic bar.
The couple tied the knot on February 10, which would have been their father’s 100th birthday. âWe always laughed that all he (his father) wanted was for a man to take care of me whether I needed it or not. So that’s what Bob and I gave her for her birthday, âsays Leisa.
The wedding took place in the residential tower of Leisa’s lifelong friend Frann Lichtenstein with 39 guests and Rabbi David Lyon performing the ceremony.
Obviously, true love can come when we least expect it and at any time in our lives. May hope spring forth eternally.