The family of the couple wanted to host an anniversary party but a nurse's aide wanted to do something special for the couple.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 31, 2019. It has since been updated.
True love doesn't need grand gestures to prove its worth. Sometimes, simply being there beside each other year after year whether the times are hard or smooth is a truer test. Couples that last for generations with each other are some of the most inspirational ones everyone can look up to. Their devotion to each other can make people fall in love with love all over again.
One senior living facility employee's belief in love was reinforced when she saw a couple, married for 72 years, celebrate their wedding anniversary in front of her. The couple, a 91-year-old woman with dementia, Shirley Matties, and her husband, Leonard Matties, live at Grace Manor Care Center in Burlington, Colorado, where they celebrated their anniversary.
Shirley was dressed up in a pink taffeta dress and was all smiles when she was wheeled in to see Leonard. Despite her health condition, she remembers her husband clearly and loves spending time with him, according to Metro UK. The couple, who were farmers, had a romantic day with flowers and a photoshoot that featured a photograph of them in their younger days.
The employee, Ardis Behrendsen, a certified nurse's aide, shared the photos and a video in a Facebook post, saying, "I have been working in long term healthcare since I was 16...What I got to be a part of today was the most beautiful experience, this amazing couple has been married 72 years today. Not only was I able to get this beautiful bride a dress and doll her all up, but I was also able to take pictures of their very special day and capture the love and commitment they have for each other, even after 72 years." She played an important part in making this beautiful day come true.
She continued that the couple was a "beautiful example of what true love is and prove that when you truly love someone, you fix what is broken and love each other through all the hard times you may face." She added, "Leonard’s face, when I brought Shirley out was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It’s days like today that I feel so blessed to do what I do..... because in the end, love is the only thing that truly matters. Thank you, Leonard and Shirley, for reminding me what life is all about, you are truly an inspiration to me. I love you both."
One of the couple's seven children, Carolyn Martell, told CBS News their family was planning to host an anniversary party already but the nurse aide wanted to do something more special. She got a pink gown for Shirley and did the photoshoot.
Carolyn also added that Leonard finds it hard to understand that Shirley has dementia, but still she had no problem recognizing the love of her life on her anniversary.
When the couple was asked what was the secret to their long life and love, Leonard said it was "work" while Shirley added that they just kept on going. "Just keep on trucking. That's pretty special," their daughter said.
Here's hoping this beautiful couple gets to spend more loving years together!