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The Beauty of Love: 12 Couples Share their Stories

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."
- Robert Browning

I am reminded of this quote by English Poet and Playwright Robert Browning, after having read through these inspirational love stories. Each couple shared their story with wedding photographer Stephanie Jarstad, who has spent her career documenting love - the pure, genuine, starry-eyed kind. In this photo series, which she rightly entitled 'To Grow Old With You', she photographs and shares the kind of love that grows sweeter with age. Each couple shared their love story, alongside a dose of worldly wisdom. Here's what they had to say:

 
 

Doug & Fran

Married: 55 years

love stories

"We dated for eight years. In that time we broke up and got back together six times. We just couldn't communicate. But the stars kept bringing us back together. We are still working on that communication thing, but our love grows deeper ever day."

 

Steve & Cheryl

Married: 49 years

love stories

"My family worried about Steve being from a broken home. They tried to talk me out of marrying him. Having a very difficult time making decisions for myself, I let my mother influence all of them. I prayed about marrying him and my answer came to me like lightning. He drove all the way out to Utah from California and we decided to elope that Friday!"

 

Ray & Tess

Married: 54 years

love stories

"Ray was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 4 years ago. To this day, no matter what happens to him, if you ask him what he would like to do, he always responds, with “Whatever Tess wants to do.” That is the one things he never seems to forget!"

 

Lloyd & Helen Fay

Married: 64 years

love stories

"He has a twin brother and I have a twin brother. We had taken the school bus together since I was in the third grade and he was in the sixth grade. I was sixteen and he was eighteen when we got married. Now we have 30 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. We sure are glad we took that school bus together."

 

Robert & Patricia

Married: 23 years

love stories

"We met on a blind date. My niece set us up and we went to Chuck-a-rama. She didn’t like me at all and I didn’t like her dog."

 

 

Chancey & Bertha

Married: 71 years

love stories

"We went on a hike up Mt. Timpanogos in the summer of 1944. Six months later we were engaged. We’ve worked hard together to raise our thirteen children."

 

Jan & Richard

Married: 65 years

love stories

Jan: "We met in 8th grade. I asked him out to a Sadie Hawkins dance in the ninth grade. He said he would have to get back to me!"
Richard: "I really just meant I was too young to drive, and I had to ask my dad if he could drive us.
Jan: I took that to mean he was waiting for a better offer."
Richard: "She sat across from me in our English class and I had to answer all her questions, or maybe it was the other way around. We got married right out of high school when we were 17. I tell people we were teenagers. I say she was 19 and I was 13. Laughter is important in our marriage. I let her have her sewing room. I stay out of there and she stays out of my glass cutting room."

 

Larry & Darylnn

Married: 44 years

love stories

"He was actually dating my cousin. My aunt really liked him, so she arranged a party to get them back together. We met at that party and ended up dating. We will be eternally grateful to aunt Dawn for arranging a party that neither of us wanted to go to. We still have a date night every Friday."

 

Andrew & Norma

Married: 57 years

love stories

"We met when I was working at a women’s dress shop in California, and he was working next door at a men’s clothing store. Every morning we’d both go out to sweep the side walk. One day our brooms met. Day after day, we fell in love on that side walk in front of those stores. He swept me off my feet!"

 

Alan & Melanie

Married: 11 Years

love stories

"I was just hired as an Administrator at a nursing home. There was quite a bit of junk in the back and I needed to burn down some of the weeds. I called the fire department for a burn permit, and Alan showed up. He came back a week later and asked if we could have dinner. I resisted at first, but I said yes. Alan knew right away that he wanted to marry me. I was resistant, but he knew. This was our second marriage. It is important to be humble and unselfish. The biggest problem is when you think of yourself first. Marriage requires eternal fortitude. I didn’t get the burn permit until years later. I got something much, much better."

George & Diane

Married: 60 years

love stories

Diane: "He asked me if I would go out with him and I told him I had plans. He asked me about the next week and the next week, and I honestly had a date every week. So he never called after that. That brings us to the next quarter. He had forgotten that we had met, and asked me out again.
One way we stay unified is just by getting old. We have never been old before, and we are just learning how to be old together. We rely on one another for health issues that come up. The best marital advice we received was, 'Don’t try to change each other, just get used to each other and look for the good traits'."
George: "Diane, would it be all right to tell her that you were Miss Oregon?"
Diane: "Aw that was 100 years ago!"

 

Mervin & Carolyn Beckstrand

Married: 56 years

love stories

"We met in an economics class. Life is so uncertain. You need to have faith. When we got married, we did not have a lot. We just jumped in with both feet and started working. It will always take effort. We are closer now than we have ever been in our entire lives!"

h/t: boredpanda.com

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