With our Senior Love Stories we aim to highlight real life stories from GrandPad users around the country who have loved, have lived, and have lost. Love can blossom in a myriad of ways, and the GrandPad user we’re featuring today still finds ways to tell her friends about the day her and her husband first officially crossed paths. Her insights into love are worth their weight in gold, but Marlys’s affection for her late husband speaks for itself.
Maybe it was love at first sight, but Marlys certainly could not have guessed that was the case while she was in high school. Her future husband Bob attended a rival high school in a different part of town, and they would only cross paths briefly at sporting events and school functions.
They had friends in common, but for Marlys, he was simply the handsome fella that occasionally would smile or nod at her for a fleeting instant. A high school crush, she imagined: until it became much more.
The first time they exchanged more than pleasantries, Marlys was at the roller rink with her friend. She spotted Bob across the rink at one point early in the evening, but as the night continued she simply had a great time with her friend. It was late in the evening, and Marlys and her friend had already taken off their skates so they would be ready when their ride arrived at 10 pm. As they were preparing to leave, the lights dimmed in the roller rink and a staff member announced over the speaker system that they would be “having the moonlight skate,” in which men asked women to skate.
Bob strolled over and asked Marlys to skate with him. Flustered, she replied, “I would love to, but I don’t have any skates on my feet!” Though they didn’t go skating that night, he did manage to schedule a date with her, and then several more after than. They were married in 1958, when Marlys was 21. Looking back on her marriage to Bob, Marlys comments, “if you love someone enough, I think the challenges aren’t really challenges. You’re thinking about each other enough to know what makes things comfortable for each other.”
Communication, Marlys stresses, is key. It always seemed very easy to work through issues with Bob. He never raised his voice or got angry. She remembers that he was extremely patient, “and hopefully I was the same,” she adds with a smile. She notes that Bob had interests (like John Deere tractors) that she didn’t care much for before they met, but during their marriage they shared each other’s interests and cultivated a passion for things that excited their spouse. Bob always attended events that Marlys loved, and he took her to tractor pulls, which she admits were a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, Bob passed away last summer. Marlys and Bob had been married nearly 60 years. Now that Marlys lives alone, she boasts that the GrandPad is “really a part of [her] life.” During the dark and cold days of winter, Marlys turns to her GrandPad for warmth and closeness to her extended family. “My grandkids were emailing me, calling me, sending me a picture of something they were eating,” she says. “And I thought, ‘what would I do without that picture connection?’”
Now that Bob is no longer around, Marlys emphasizes that you never realize how much you’ll miss having someone to talk to and share experiences with every day. Even when she’s at work at the bookstore, Marlys keeps her GrandPad on the checkout counter so she can see the latest photos from her grandkids as they come in. Marlys claims that she shows off the GrandPad to anyone who asks about it, hoping she can connect more people with their family.
It’s never too late to connect with those you love most and experience the comfort of having all of the communication tools you need in the palm of your hand. As our latest Senior Love Story demonstrates, even when your spouse passes on you can share your love for them by sending it on to your children and grandchildren via a medium like GrandPad.