True, enduring love does exist. Photographer Lauren Fleishman proves that in her book, “The Lovers,” where she photographs couples who have been together for more than half a century. Many of the couples in the books survived the World War II apart.
Her book project was inspired by a series of love letters written by her grandfather to her grandmother during World War II. She remarks, “The letters spoke of a young love, the type filled with expectations of a new life together.”
The couples she photographed say they don’t see themselves as old people, but as young couples who are still in love after 50 years.
All photos courtesy of Lauren Fleishman.
Moses and Tessie Rubenstein
“Everyday my wife expresses her love for me. She says, “Did I tell you how much I love you today?” Everyday—everyday she says that.”
Finding out that your father or mother has cancer is a hard thing to deal with. When both of Nancy Borowick’s parents told her that they both had cancer—¦ we can’t imagine how devastating that news would be. But instead of letting cancer tear their family apart from the inside-out, the Borowicks bonded together. Husband, wife and daughter grew together as they fought cancer and Nancy chronicled the whole thing with these incredible photographs.
The couple had been married for 34 years.
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
#1. A kiss after a long day exploring.
1. Every morning, my wife of 18 years gets up before me and makes coffee. She doesn’t drink coffee.
2. He looks at me with googly eyes and says, “You’re so prettyyyy,” multiple times a day. We’ve been together for 9 years total, married for 2.
Also, the way we argue. He’s so considerate and thoughtful with his words, even when I know he’s incredibly frustrated. That speaks volumes about the way he respects me and loves me even when he’s angry with me. I’ve learned to argue in the same way (but I’m less awesome at it than he is). He makes me a better person.
3. We’ve been dating for five years and we have always gotten Cherry Coke as a drink if we are sharing. A few months ago we went to the movies and he came back, as per usual, with Cherry Coke. I said I was glad that we both loved that soda the most and he replied “I actually don’t really like Cherry Coke but I get it because it’s your favorite and you like to share.”
I can’t wait to call this man my husband next September.
1. I asked my wife. This is her response. “When you drove me up the wall everyday and I still couldn’t get you out of my head. I don’t know it just felt right. What are other people saying? Oo he was so romantic. What are you doing? Are you just typing everything I’m saying? Omg thats weird stop”. She has now walked away and started doing the dishes.
2. There were no head games. He always called when he said he would, and said what he meant. Everything was so easy and comfortable. That might sound boring, but having been in relationships where I was always trying to figure out what the other person really wanted, this was so refreshing. He always made me feel sure of us, and that was huge.
3. People think I’m stupid but 3 months in. I was 16, he was 17. He told me he loved me and I knew I was going to be with him forever. My mom told me it was puppy love. He went to college the next year 200 miles away and everyone taunted me saying he was going to be cheating on me with college girls. I knew he wasn’t out cheating on me because we were playing World of Warcraft together every night. We stayed long distance for a year until I graduated high school. I packed up everything I had and $2000 cash I’d saved and moved 200 miles away from home to be with him. My parents still said “You’ll be back in a month.” I worked as a fast food shift manager and he went to school and we lived together for three years. We got married when he graduated. I was 21, he was 22. Everyone who ever told me “it will never last” got a wedding invitation. Haha. We just celebrated our third wedding anniversary and eight years of companionship.
1. Today, my 75-year-old grandpa who has been blind from cataracts for almost 15 years said to me, “Your grandma is just the most beautiful thing, isn’t she?” I paused for a second and said, “Yes she is. I bet you miss seeing that beauty on a daily basis.” “Sweety,” my grandpa said, “I still see her beauty every day. In fact, I see it more now than I used to when we were young.”
2. Today, I walked my daughter down the aisle. Ten years ago I pulled a 14 year old boy out of his mom’s fire-engulfed SUV after a serious accident. Doctors initially said he would never walk again. My daughter came with me several times to visit him at the hospital. Then she started going on her own. Today, seeing him defy the odds and smile widely, standing on his own two feet at the altar as he placed a ring on my daughter’s finger
3. Today, I walked up to the door of my office (I’m a florist) at 7AM to find a uniformed Army soldier standing out front waiting. He was on his way to the airport to go to Afghanistan for a year. He said, “I usually bring home a bouquet of flowers for my wife every Friday and I don’t want to let her down when I’m away.” He then placed an order for 52 Friday afternoon deliveries of flowers to his wife’s office and asked me to schedule one for each week until he returns. I gave him a 50% discount because it made my day to see something so sweet.
4. Today, I told my 18 year old grandson that nobody asked me to prom when I was in high school, so I didn’t attend. He showed up at my house this evening dressed in a tuxedo and took me as his date to his prom.
5. Today, when she woke up from an eleven month coma, she kissed me and said, “Thank you for being here, and telling me those beautiful stories, and never giving up on me—¦ And yes, I will marry you.”
6. Today, I operated on a little girl. She needed O- blood. We didn’t have any, but her twin brother has O- blood. I explained to him that it was a matter of life and death. He sat quietly for a moment, and then said goodbye to his parents. I didn’t think anything of it until after we took his blood and he asked, “So when will I die?” He thought he was giving his life for hers. Thankfully, they’ll both be fine.
7. Today, I have an elderly patient who is suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer’s. He can rarely remember his own name, and he often forgets where he is and what he said just a few minutes beforehand. But by the stretch of some miracle (perhaps the miracle of love), he remembers who is wife is every morning when she shows up to spend a few hours with him. He usually greets her by saying, “Hello my beautiful Kate.”
8. Today, my 21 year old Labrador can barely stand up, can’t see, can’t hear, and doesn’t have enough strength to bark. But it doesn’t stop her from wagging her tail a mile a minute every single time I walk into the room.
9. Today, due to Alzheimer’s and dementia, my grandfather usually can’t remember who my grandmother is when he wakes up in the morning. It bothered my grandmother a year ago when it first happened, but now she’s fully supportive of his condition. In fact, she plays a game every day in which she tries to get my grandfather to ask her to re-marry him before dinnertime. She hasn’t failed yet.
10. Today, I am the proud mom of a blind 17-year-old boy. Although my son was born without his sense of sight, it hasn’t stopped him from being a straight A student, a guitarist (whose band just surpassed 25,000 downloads of their first album), and a loving boyfriend to his long-term girlfriend, Valerie. Just today, his younger sister asked him what he likes about Valerie, and he said, “Everything. She’s beautiful.”
1. There is something I do to make my wife’s day brighter: she truly believes that finding a penny heads up is good luck. Intermittently I will place a heads up penny somewhere slightly conspicuous so that she’ll find it. I almost always do this if she’s having a bad day. She’s never caught on.
2. Be calm. If you’re having an argument, disagreement, or any such conflict, force yourself to speak slowly and at normal volume. Don’t interrupt each other. Most often, this will diffuse defuse the conflict and the two of you can speak about it rationally.
3. I know his love language. He needs/wants to be told why I love him. My gut tells me to hug him and move on, but I force myself to say out loud “Thanks for making dinner and vacuuming today, I really appreciate it”.
In an incredibly romantic gesture, an elderly Japanese man planted a sea of flowers for his beloved wife in order to plant a smile on her face.
Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki had been married for 30 years when she was diagnosed with diabetes. Only a week later, Mrs. Kuroki lost her eyesight due to complications of the disease.
No longer able to see, she became depressed and didn’t even want to leave her home. Her devoted husband then decided to make it his mission to see his wife’s beautiful smile again
True love isn’t always about the big romantic gestures. For instance…
Sometimes, love can be found in the simplest things, like spending a blissful morning in the kitchen.