After that, he visited the center and looked for Doris to play 42. By the end of August, he was at the center twice a week eating lunch and playing the guitar and mandolin.
One afternoon before leaving the center, Doris invited Arthur to her church for a social to which he accepted.
When he arrived at her home he was greeted at the door by her children who were there to check out this suitor that was picking up their mom. They introduced themselves and questioned his intentions toward her. It didn’t scare Arthur off and their friendship continued to grow.
Arthur first told Doris that he loved her in October by playing her the song “Have I told you lately that I love you” on his mandolin at the park across from the center.
A few days later Arthur was involved in a car accident. He called the center to tell Lucy that he wouldn’t be there for lunch. She handed Doris the phone and he explained to her where he was and she told him that she would be right there.
After helping Arthur, Doris made sure that he got home safely. He hugged and kissed her for the first time and said “Oh, now we need to get married.” Doris agreed so they left to go and get their marriage license.
Lucy suggested that they get married at the center since they met there.
On October 30th, 2001, Doris was walked down the aisle (between the dining room tables) with her grandson Joel to her waiting groom. Arthur was standing with his sister-in-law and two best friends. Doris was met by her three daughters and granddaughter, Leah, who served cake (made by Doris’ daughter).
A local news station was on hand to video the wedding.
Arthur and Doris shared eight years together before he passed away from complications of a broken hip and Alzheimer’s disease. Lucy remembers the genuine love that Arthur & Doris shared and has often spoken to others about the complete devotion she had for him, especially when he was in the nursing home. As his Dementia got worse and he was unable to verbally communicate, it was Doris who would be there to help the nursing staff care for him every night and at times would go back to facility and stay until he fell asleep before going back home.
I learned that Gary was seeing someone else so I wrote him a “Dear John” letter and told him he could pick up his ring when he came home. My cousin who lived with us had a date with a fella named Jacob and his friend Henry came along, so I joined them. Our "double date" was to a medicine show in Pennsylvania.
I was still in love with Gary but that night fell deeply in love with Henry and after that night we spent almost every day together. I mostly remember us putting puzzles together, but we also saw every movie that came out. We dated for almost 7 years as I wasn't allowed to marry until I was 21 years old.
Three years after we'd begun dating, his mother got very sick and was dying. She told him that he wasn't fit to marry me or anyone else due to the fact that he used crutches to walk from being born with a water tumor on his back and at 2 years old had surgery that injured his back.
Henry told me to find someone worthy of me but I told him if I didn't marry him I wasn't going to marry anyone. My heart was broken. Henry came back into my life 2 weeks later and we resumed dating.
His mom passed away and his dad remarried a wonderful lady, Eloise. Henry talked with her about our wanting to marry and she told him that he had as much a right to get married as anyone so, at the age of 24 Henry and I married at a beautiful church in Pennsylvania.
After 11 years and unable to have children we adopted our son Johnnie who was 11 days old. I love him just as much today and dream about him which makes me happy.
I remember one night dreaming that Henry told me he didn't love me and it made me feel sad for several days. I told Johnnie about the dream.....he told me "Oh Mom, he did love you". My heart still aches.
*All names and centers have been changed to protect identities.*