Don & Robin: Love at the Memory Cafe

Don & Robin: Love at the Memory Cafe

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we’re celebrating the love between some of our Memory Cafe participants.

Robin and Don met at church when Don’s sisters encouraged him to come meet their friend. Don says “she caught my eye immediately.” He adds, “she’s still a nice looking girl.”  Robin says of Don “he was very nice looking, very reserved and very skeptical of me, which made me laugh”. She says at the beginning of their relationship Don probably thought she wasn’t in his caliber. Don chimes in, “I had no caliber”

Within 3 weeks they knew they wanted to get married. Robin was 17 years old.

Don credits Robin’s parents with being very instrumental in their relationship. He says “her mother and father accepted me from (the start) and were very open in their hearts. That always helps”

After Robin turned 18 the two were married and have stayed married for 50 years. Their advice to young couples:

Don: “Be prepared, don’t let infatuation overcome intelligence. If you have time, take a little time.”

Robin: “Be willing to compromise. Love sometimes is a choice, not a feeling. You make the commitment and you stick with it. Marriage is tough, it’s hard, it’s challenging. You have to make a choice to put effort into it when it gets tough.”

When Don and Robin discuss the blessings in their current season of life, Robin gets teary-eyed. She expresses gratitude for her adult children who live nearby and help support them. “Knowing that our children are all supportive and would drop everything to help their mom and dad because they love us has been a tremendous blessing.”

Robin says they’ve had to work harder to be committed to each other. She knows that if it were her in Don’s situation, he would care for her. She adds “he has cared for me many times in the past when I needed it”

Don says “usually I’d run from (doing an interview), but I’m not afraid of telling someone I love them.” He wants to let people know that they can share themselves with another person. “Just keep your arms open and your eyes open.”

Both agree that they could not have sustained this marriage without spiritual help. They have always attended church regularly and are committed to the Lord.

Dancing is something they both enjoy. They took lessons together 25 years ago and Don lights up when he says, “I’m always ready to dance. People love when they see me dance.”

Watch their story below.

Dementia Together uses memory cafes to create environments to share stories like this one. Support our memory cafes by clicking here!

 

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