We just passed that time of year: the holiday of love, chocolate hearts, stuffed animals, and a plethora of assorted candy, cards and fresh flowers on nearly every corner, all bombarding you with a fusillade of red and pink! You either loved seeing all the little cupids and “Dinner for Two Specials” or you waited for the storm to pass.
I happen to be enthusiastic about this holiday and not just for the reasons you might imagine –receiving gifts and special attention from my hubby. I also thoroughly enjoy interacting with the senior couples from the various communities we represent. Typically, around Valentine’s Day we share a feature story on some of the couples who have been married for a particularly long time, have unique love stories, or can offer great relationship advice. If Hallmark and florists can dominate this time of year, and Hollywood can push out sappy romantic movies around February 14, then we in the senior living industry should take advantage of all the hype and share some truly meaningful love stories and tips from real-life couples, right?
Recently I heard a unique story of a couple’s journey to marriage that took decades to complete. Theirs is a story of hope for anyone who ever broke things off with someone but always wondered…what if you wound up getting back together somehow, somewhere down the road?
Robert (Bob) and Juliann (Juli) Hall, both 86 years old, live at The Barrington of Carmel in Indiana, where they’re known as “the fun couple” around campus. Although they’ve known each other since the 1940s, they’ve only been married for eight years. Bob and Juli were high school sweethearts during World War II, but when Bob was drafted to serve in the Navy, they faced some difficult decisions that took them down different paths.
Both Juli and Bob went on to get married to other people and live in different states, but Juli remained close to Bob’s family, particularly his sister. Many years later, Juli’s husband passed away and she learned from Bob’s sister that he had lost his wife also. They reconnected, began keeping in touch, and at 78 years old they decided never to part again and got married!
Today Bob and Juli are loving life, and at 86 still enjoy traveling. They can frequently be seen together around The Barrington – working out in the morning or having a glass of wine in the evening. As a couple who reunited with high school sweethearts and married in their late 70s, they are proof that it’s never too late to find or rediscover love and experience true marital bliss!
Now Bob and Juli are feeling like celebrities as their love story is being shared in The Indianapolis Star and on The Star website, which include video and photos of them, along with video on Fox 59 and coverage in the Kokomo Tribune. Hearing and sharing such stories is one of the reasons I love this time of year!