91-year-old woman with dementia recognizes her husband on their 72nd wedding anniversary
I'm an absolute puddle of tears. 😭😍
Luis Gaskell

People always like a good love story. It takes them away from the negativity and gives them something to appreciate. Knowing that there’s still a lot of happiness and good in the world is quite the drug.

It’s even better when it’s not a typical love story. I’m talking about the stories of people staying together despite it all, or people who always find some way to make it work. Those are always the best ones.

Meet 91-year-old Shirley Matties, who’s married to Leonard Matties and suffers from Dementia.

Shirley and Leonard have been married for 72 long, happy years. That’s something worth celebrating, though it’s been hard since Shirley’s trouble with her memory.

The pair has lived in Burlington since 2007. They previously resided in one of the Colorado Centennial Farms.

It would be strange if they didn’t do anything for their 72nd year together.

When you’re commemorating an occasion like that, you’ve got to dress up.

With her age and condition, Shirley would need help doing that. It was Ardis Behrendsen who stepped up to help.

Behrendsen works in long-term healthcare, and has done so since the age of 16. It’s people like her who live to help people like Shirley, and this one would be a very special task to help with.

As a matter of fact, Behrendsen was stoked to have been able to dress Shirley up. She wrote all about it in a Facebook post.

With Ardis’ help, Shirley got dressed up all nice for her 72nd wedding anniversary with Leonard.

“Leonard and Shirley are such a beautiful example of what true love is and prove that when you truly love someone, you fix what is broken and love each other through all the hard times you may face.” – Ardis Behrendsen wrote

She’s right. When you see how long a couple like Shirley and Leonard have lasted, would you still doubt that advice? I mean, the results speak for themselves, don’t they?

Leonard’s face instantly lit up when he saw Shirley.

72 years later and his love for her is as strong as it was all those decades ago. She might not remember everything, but she remembers that he loves her.

“Seeing the look on Leonard’s face when I brought Shirley out was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” – said Behrendsen

Behrendsen took a photo of their wedding rings. They’ve been on their fingers for longer than most of us have been alive. Isn’t that something? That these two have loved each other for longer than any of us can possibly know?

I can’t really blame Behrendsen for getting emotional just from watching it.

She’s pretty privileged to get to see things like this in person!

And that photo of Leonard giving Shirley a sweet kiss on the cheek? That’s enough to make anyone’s day. Don’t you just want what they have?

It goes to show that the strongest kind of love is the kind you work hard to keep.

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By Luis Gaskell
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Luis Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.