Customized Bride

Planning our wedding one custom at a time

Married since 1937 March 5, 2009

Filed under: wedding — tonya @ 7:00 am
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For those of you that don’t know me IRL or might not follow me on Twitter and don’t listen to me tweet about it, I am a hospice volunteer director. Which means I recruit and assign people to visit hospice patients. (Hospice is health care for people that have 6 months or less to live.) It’s very, very rewarding and it’s not nearly as scary as everyone seems to think 😉

This past week, a gentleman on our service passed away. He died of old age– his heart just finally gave out, and considering he was 95 years old that is not suprising. The unique thing about this man is that he and his wife had been married for 72 years.  Can you imagine? They were married in 1937. In 1937:

+Hitler was chancellor of Germany

+FDR was sworn into his second term as president

+America was in the midst of the great depression

+The Hindenberg exploded in New Jersey

+Most people still travelled long distance by train or oceanliner

+Telephones were all partyline

+Telegram was the way to send a quick message

+Amelia Earhardt disappeared

+I always think in terms of what was going on with Cary Grant at the time. (Yes, I know I am obsessed. Don’t worry, I’m OK with it.) Cary Grant was just starting to become famous. He starred in The Awful Truth, one of the first movies to seriously launch his career.

And *this* was what your wedding party might have looked like:

See this photo’s source for gorgeous early century wedding photos.

Think about everything these people lived through as a couple. WW2, the first man in space, the 60s social revolution, women’s lib… Really, the whole world changed since they fell in love and got married.

Sergei and I are in our mid-30s, so there is probably no way that we’ll reach our 72nd wedding anniversary. But I can’t wait to see how the world changes during our marriage. I hope we’ll be old and griping about “the kids these days!” and reminiscing about the invent of cell phones, Nintendo, VCRs, and days when you actually had to get up off your hinder and change the channel yourself.

And our patient’s wife entered onto our service this week. He has been gone just a week, and she’s dying of a broken heart.


4 Responses to “Married since 1937”

  1. Abbie Says:

    I love hearing things like this… although the last bit breaks your heart a bit. My grandparents always say that once one of them goes the other will quickly follow.

  2. Leika Says:

    What a beautiful love story they must have had! My father worked with hospice patients for a while (he’s a therapist), so while I don’t know that I would have the emotional strength to do it, I know he always spoke about how rewarding it was for him as well.

    Kudos to you for the wonderful service you help provide, and I hope yours and Sergei’s marriage inspires someone else that much one day!!

  3. tonya Says:

    Leika– aw you are too sweet. Give your dad kudos from me! We do a ton of training on boundaries, and these people are strangers to us so we have a lot of ways of making sure we don’t get too close and get our hearts broken when they die. Every once in awhile one slips through and really touches you though. 🙂

    Abbie– aren’t those stories just the best? These two were just totally in love all the way up to the end. It really is so inspiring. We see spouses dying of a broken heart quite a bit actually. We had one this fall that was just like this- married over 70 years. Only that time the wife went first and the husband went a month later.

    Reminds me of the Death Cab for Cutie song “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark”.

  4. Bridechka Says:

    Wow what an amazing story and how awesome are you for doing such tough and heartbreaking work. You rock lady.

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