It’s Friday night and I spent it watching The Notebook. I know.
I almost forgot how great this movie is. I found myself cheesin’ for the first half, then crying like a little baby the second half (it’s not like I didn’t know what happens!). Then I text my girlfriend Nicky…
I followed up with an ugly crying selfie that will remain unseen by anyone else.
Anyway, after the film and my solo sob sesh, I started wondering–are there actual love stories like the one Nicholas Sparks created? The answer is yes.
1. Max & LaVere Robinson: Max and LaVere met during the Great Depression, in a young adult class at a Latter Day Saints’ church in Oakland, Calif. They kept the relationship a secret from their parents until they eloped. They tied the knot in San Jose on Nov. 1, 1929, when they were both 17 years old. They were together 83 years until Max passed away in September 2013. LaVere died three days later.
“They had an amazing relationship, right up to the end,” their granddaughter said. “They were very much in love with each other and very happy.”
Even though Max developed Alzheimer’s in his later years, the devoted hubby would search for his wife. “He definitely knew who she was. He would go find her every night to give her a kiss,” she said.
2. Ed & Floreen Hale: It was 1952 that the couple first locked eyes at a county dance, a moment that they’d describe to their children as love at first sight.
After 60 years together, the 83-year-old man fulfilled his promise to his beloved wife when they died just hours apart while holding hands in an upstate New York hospital in February.
“He said, ‘no, I promise to take care of her for the rest of my life and if I have to carry her forever, I will,” the couple’s daughter Renee Hirsh told the Daily News of his vow. “He stayed committed to that to his last dying breath.”
3. Les & Helen Brown: These two lovebirds were born on the same day in 1918, became high school sweethearts and celebrated 75 years of marriage in September 2012. Helen, who was battling stomach cancer, died in July 2013. Les died the following day—he never knew about his wife’s death. They were 94 years old.
“They were very forgiving of each other’s foibles and weaknesses. They were so willing to work at making themselves happy,” their son Daniel said, adding that their marriage was a testament to the power of love.
“It knows no barriers and seems to know no bounds. They were from different sides of the tracks and it didn’t seem to matter to them. After 78 years, they were very much in love.”
Reading stories like these give me hope. Sure, we live in a different time and dating is a completely new ball game, but I’d like to believe the fundamentals are still there. We watch movies like The Notebook and cry and hope for someone like Noah or Allie, and then we’re told to get back to reality because it’s just a movie. You shouldn’t base real life off of movies.
Well guess what? Those three stories are as real as they get. And if it can happen for them, who’s to say it can’t happen for us, too?