It was February 1, 1993. I had just finished shooting a video in Israel for a corporate client. I was an American living in London, separated and waiting for my divorce to come through.
So, with no reason to rush back home, I headed down to Eilat for a little sun and sand. I wandered the beaches alone, a solitary figure framed against the shadows of the setting sun. For three lonely days, I spoke to no one and then it was time to head to the airport.
As I was checking in, I saw two beautiful English women just ahead of me, and we shared a few small-talk words. After they’d checked in, I asked the ticket clerk if she could seat me next to them, but she said the closest available seat was two rows ahead and three rows to the side, so I thought, well that’s life.
In the two hours before we boarded Sue, Julie and I sat on the terminal floor and talked and talked, until it was time to board and say goodbye.
About an hour into the flight, I glanced back to where they were sitting. Julie was on her own, with Sue in the row in front, with her head between her knees. She had a nose bleed, her first ever, she would say later.
So being a chivalrous kind of guy, I went over to see if there was anything I could do. She invited me to sit down next to her, and after her nose stopped bleeding, we got to know each other, sharing stories about ourselves and our families. Despite our different nationalities, we had a lot in common. It turned out we had gone to the same high holiday services some 20 years earlier.
Then, about half an hour before the plane would land at Heathrow Airport, I summoned all my nerve, reached over and took her hand, and she, thankfully, took mine.
Before a brief kiss goodbye at the luggage carousel we exchanged numbers. The next day, Sue called and invited me over to her home. We’ve been together ever since.
We are convinced it was all meant to be beshert: the video shoot, the airport check-in, the immediate connection, the nosebleed… and the last 28 years and counting.
Raised in the Washington, DC area, Larry Miller began his radio news reporting career in a small Georgia town where they’d rarely seen a Jew. He moved to London in 1975 to report for radio networks, including NPR and CBS; he also founded a production company. Susan Miller’s large Jewish family owned a wholesale bakery in London. As a teenager, she saw the Beatles before they were famous and knew Twiggy, the iconic British supermodel. Sue owned two successful real estate offices in London’s East End, then became a massage therapist. The Millers moved to Rockville, Maryland in 2019 to be close to their stateside children, Larry’s two, David and Annie, and Sue’s daughter, Linzi, and three grandchildren.
Top photo: Left: Moving into their house, Rockville, Maryland, 2020. Right: At a Bat Mitzvah, London, 2008.