John and Kelly: Love at the Memory Cafe

John and Kelly: Love at the Memory Cafe

Love reaches beyond the bounds of time, age, and the challenges of memory loss. With Valentine’s Day approaching, we’re celebrating the love between some of our Memory Cafe participants. Today, we’re celebrating John and Kelly’s beautiful story of faith and commitment.

John and Kelly met at a conference in Maryville, TN ten years ago. Kelly was sitting right behind John and she could see his tender heart in the way that he worshipped. She noticed his polite manners and said “he was so genteel.” The first two words John spoke to her were “what kinship,” referencing the connection they felt from the moment they met.  Kelly says that when he spoke to her in his Georgia accent, “he had (her) right there.”

John reminisces on Kelly’s long, swishing skirts and the remarkable confidence with which she carried herself. They took several walks together and got to know each other during the conference. Kelly was a singer at the conference and John “bought all her CDs”. After driving back to his home in Farmington, NM John decided to call Kelly. They spoke for 3 hours. John said “there was such a commonality” and Kelly said “we saw an incredible like-mindedness. We decided that God must have made the match.” John describes the conversation as “melting” back and forth.

John and Kelly drove back and forth from Colorado to New Mexico to visit each other, until John proposed. As Kelly says, “we lived happily ever after.” After spending a few minutes with them both that is easy to believe. They are full of joy.

During their 9 years of marriage, John has had 8 surgeries and 2 heart attacks. Kelly said, “I felt like God was saying ‘I trusted you to take care of this guy I love’” and John adds “and she does”

In terms of advice for young couples, John says  “a lot of it has to do with what you think about God first. Let God do it and it will work”

Last summer John’s son was staying with them, and before he left he told them “I’ve been watching you two and watching what marriage looks like and you have an unselfish devotion to each other.” He expressed a desire to honor his girlfriend in the same way. Inspired by their commitment, he went home and proposed to his girlfriend and they were married shortly after in Kelly and John’s backyard.

Watch John and Kelly dance at their wedding

 

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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