A photo of a 96-year-old husband feeding his 93-year-old wife who has Alzheimer’s goes viral
Everyone loves a good love story, but have you ever noticed that the love stories in real life rarely look like the ones we read about in novels or see played out on the big screen? Well, a photo post shared on Love What Matters showing an elderly man feeding his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is going viral for reminding us what real love looks like.
“As I was sitting eating my double cheeseburger at Wendy’s, I glanced over at this older couple, and thought ‘That’s sweet’ And continued with my meal,” the post begins.
“But when I looked again, in between bites, I saw this gentleman feeding his wife. My whole life I’ve yearned for a love that strong.” I’ll pause here to let you grab a few tissues; you’re going to need them.
The person who shared the post said that when the gentleman – and yes, this man is the epitome of the word gentleman – got up from his seat to throw away the food, he or she asked him how long he and his wife had been married.
“He looked at me and asked me to guess his age but not to guess too low. After a few guesses he told me he was 96 and his wife is 93 who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. This is their date night.”
In the past few days, the photo post has been shared 26,000 times and liked more than 137,000 times, and it isn’t surprising to see why it went viral. With more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, the disease affects nearly all of us in some way, whether we have a parent, grandparent, sibling or spouse with the disease or we know someone whose loved one has the disease.
My dad was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and while the symptoms of the disease (such as memory loss, anger, and poor judgment) can be frustrating for the person suffering with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones, there are also moments of tenderness as well. My mom watches over my dad, brings him his meals, and orders for him at restaurants. My dad sweetly serenades “his bride” whenever he hears a song he likes, whether he knows the words or not, and affectionately calls her by a pet name like they’re still newlyweds.
The viral photo post resonates with so many of us because it is the definition of unconditional love. This is what “for better or worse, and in sickness and health” looks like. Love isn’t about sunshine and roses or hot and steamy romance. Real love is about the things we do for the ones we love. Real love isn’t a noun, but a verb.
Love isn’t always pretty, but it is still beautiful. It’s better than any RomCom love story, and thousands of people commented on the post with their own stories about of love and the things we do for the people we love.
In June, the couple will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary. Talk about #marriagegoals.
The post ends, “Getting all the way to the end of the line with the person you started out with is one of the most glorious things on the face of this earth. Could a couple be more blessed than to have that happen? To share a deep love and bond that only grows as we age, that is a beautiful thing.”