A lot of people these days cannot imagine themselves in a decades-long marriage, and many love stories fail to stand the test of time.
How many of us know the secret ingredient needed for a long-lasting, loving, and happy marriage, until “death do us apart”?
Prepare to meet two of them!
On August 28, 2019, John and Charlotte Henderson officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living married couple in the world.
The couple has a combined age of 212 years, as John is 107 (USA, b. 24 December 1912), and Charlotte is 105 (USA, b. 8 Nov 1914).
On December 15, they celebrated their 80th anniversary, and the assisted-living community where they live threw them a party. Just like he did on their first date, John picked up Charlotte in a 1920’s Roadster and gave her a beautiful bouquet.
They met at the University of Texas (UT) in 1934 where John was playing guard on the Longhorn football team, and Charlotte was studying to be a teacher.
“Charlotte looked over her shoulder and smiled and I knew I wanted to take her on a date. She was anxious for me to ask her!”
The longhorn lovebirds have no children, so they lived an adventurous life, traveled and toured, and in 2017 they decided to slow down a bit. They enjoy their golden years at Longhorn Village, a retirement community for the elderly.
“In our ages, we’ve slowed down somewhat. We used to go on cruises, but now we have to take it easy. We like watching sports and talking about what we’re going to do tomorrow.”
For the past 9 years, John has been the oldest living former player of the University of Texas football team, and he always watches at least one Longhorn football game annually.
The couple states that the most important thing for them was to be together in their early years. They spent $7 in a hotel for their honeymoon, and they remember it as one of the best times of their lives.
Their nephew, Jason Free, says that their story inspires others, and they really love each other deeply.
He claims they are focused on their future and do not dwell on the past. He describes them as “very forward-looking people, always very positive about the future, looking forward to tomorrow and what the future holds.”
Yet, he adds that Charlotte often checks in on her husband to ensure he is alright.
Fellow care home resident Jim Bissett added:
“They’re just gracious, nice, kind people. They’re the salt of the earth.”
Both of them are in great shape. John exercises every day and claims that having a positive attitude is vital for good health and longevity. He joked:
“But some people think it’s because we never had kids!”
He advises young couples to live life moderately and be cordial to their spouses to enjoy a long and loving marriage.