George meets his wife at a party held by friends of his parents. He's twenty-five, and he's just been promoted, and he's coming to a place where people start asking him when he's going to settle down. He usually brushes them off - never saw the point of settling down right before they start giving you dangerous jobs that take you around the world, and has no immediate plans to do any settling.
But then he meets Helen, and his mind suddenly changes. It's February the thirteenth, but they talk into the small hours of the morning, heads bent together on the back verhanda.
Later he's never sure which one of them suggested it. Convention would dictate it was him, but Helen's a practical woman and it seems a practical arrangement when she talks about it. It doesn't hurt that he's in love with her from the first fifteen minutes of their acquaintance. So they marry, and they get housing on base in Houston, and he gets his second overseas assignment.
The distance is hard, but they manage. It makes the times he's home more meaningful, somehow, and he always makes sure to be home one particular day of the year. Their marriage is interesting and amenable, and they don't stop being in love, even when their children are grown and away and some people start to grow apart.
Helen dies in her sleep when she's sixty-seven. It's peaceful and easy, he just wakes up and she's gone. The slip back into being alone is difficult, but his daughters are good to him, take care to make sure he's not alone too much, and he finds as always that he's got more friends than he usually imagines. Jacob doesn't ask, but he's there - he understands. And he's a general by then, too busy to think about it much. He just misses her.
And every February the fourteenth, like they did for every year through the long decades of their marriage, he cooks dinner, sets the table for two, and sits down to reflect upon how lucky he's been.