proposal concept. One hand placing a ring on another
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 28, 2024 ·  4 min read

Watch the unforgettable moment a man proposes after rekindling high school romance 60 years later

At some point, everyone has dreamt of their happily ever after. In many cases, things turn out much differently than expected, particularly in the case of a high school romance. In contrast, Thomas and Nancy, once high school sweethearts, have reunited and are engaged. Sharing the proposal with the world, the precious elderly couple went viral on TikTok, capturing a truly heartwarming moment.

High School Romance Gone Wrong

Dr. Thomas McMeekin, currently residing in Tampa, Florida, is a dermatologist who’s made a pretty good life for himself. However, one thing has always been missing, something that became apparent upon learning that both he and his high school sweetheart planned to attend their 60th-year high school reunion. It had been over 60 years since the pair shared a high school romance. Ultimately, after only a few dates, the pair separated and married other people. “We’ve had lives and jobs and professions and children and husbands and experiences,” Gambell explained regarding the 60-plus-year break the pair took from one another.

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

High School Romance Budds into More

Never quite able to fully let go of the high school romance, Gambell contacted McMeekin to let him know she’d be attending the reunion in August and was looking forward to seeing him there. “And then we called. We talked for hours, hours every day. From June 10 until now, we fell in love again,” McMeekin explained.We were meant for each other, and so I said, ‘I’m sending you tickets to come see me,’” he said.

Image Source: TikTok

Planning A Grand Gesture

Nancy Gambell agreed to the trip. A short time later, she flew out to Tampa to see the man with whom she’d shared a high school romance. He surprised her by not just showing up at the airport, but he also proposed! “I couldn’t wait. I surprised her. She arrived at the airport, and she didn’t know what was happening,” he recalled.

I dropped down on two knees, and I read my proposal,” McMeekin added. “We’re both crying. And then I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’

Meanwhile, Gambell explained, “I did want something like this to happen. Expecting to find this kind of love anytime is kind of hard to imagine, but especially in this last few chapters that we have.” Adorably, her true love shares the sentiment. “To find it again at my age at this point in our life is just incredible, so have hope,” he said. “There is a chance.”

The pair plan to live together at Nancy Gambell’s home in California and will be married there as well, in October of 2023. The nearly 7-minute TikTok video was also posted on YouTube and has already gotten more than 6,700 views. This heartwarming story is just one example of the many possibilities of finding love and happiness. Particularly so in the later years of life.

A Second Chance at Love

This story is incredibly unique as not many get to spend any time after high school with those with whom they shared a high school romance. As such, although Nancy and Thomas haven’t spent the last 60 years together, they’re fortunate enough to spend the remainder of their lives living out their high school romance.

Furthermore, love is an integral part of everyday life for nearly all living beings. It’s vital to survival, good mental health, and overall happiness. Although it’s important for people to love themselves, it’s equally as important to love and be loved by others.

Experiencing love, such as rekindling a high school romance, at an older age can have a profound effect on cognitive function and on one’s desire to remain active. According to Psychology Today, “It is often the case that love at old age is deeper than that at a young age.” Therefore, this precious moment captured and shared on social media is not just a heartwarming story but an important element to the longevity of Nancy and Thomas’ last days together. They’re not wasting any more time reliving their high school romance! A touching reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

Keep Reading: Bon Jovi’s 30-Year Marriage Is Proof That High-School Romances Can Turn Into Love That Lasts A Lifetime


  1. Seniors Who Reconnected Before Their 60th High School Reunion Go Viral with Airport Proposal.” People. Laura Barcella. July 20, 2023
  2. Seniors from viral airport proposal share second-chance love story: ‘You can’t give up hope.TODAY Chrissy Callahan. July 18, 2023.
  3. 78-year-old proposes to long-lost love at Tampa International Airport.ABC Action. Mary O’Connell. July 03, 2023.