Skeptics of true love need only read about Harold and Ruth Knapke who, after more than 65 years of marriage, died mere hours apart at the nursing home where they spent their last days together.
According to an article in the National Post, the Knapkes passed in their shared room just days before their 66th wedding anniversary. He died at 91, and she followed 11 hours later, aged 89.
Their remarkable story had been celebrated by various media outlets, with their daughters claiming their ailing father "willed himself" to stay alive until she was ready to join him on the next part of their journey together.
Harold and Ruth had apparently known each other as children, though their courtship began while he served in the army in World War II.
Even as they raised six children, their love somehow held steadfast. This summer they were pictured holding hands through a bed guardrail. Touchingly, a joint funeral was held for the Ohio couple.
“It is really just a love story,” said daughter Carol Romie. “They were so committed and loyal and dedicated, they weren’t going to go anywhere without the other one.”
Having worked in a nursing home, I've witnessed this phenomenon firsthand. Couples who have been together for a long time often pass in quick succession, as if they have forgotten how or are simply unwilling to live apart.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think their story is quite magical. Tips for a long marriage from another couple with 65 years under their belt. (And hon, if you're reading, only another 50 years to go!)