If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a photo of lasting love is priceless. “Lasting Love” was captured as residents of Bradford Ecumenical Home and Chapel Ridge posed with their loved ones for photos taken by professional photographer, Brittany Backhaus. Inspired by Valentine’s Day, National Wedding Month, and American Heart Month, the photo sessions took place in February. “What better month than February to feature some of our very own love stories?” stated Lisa Johnson, CEO.
Eyes brightened and smiles danced across faces as loved ones embraced for photos. Each photo session was about more than capturing a picture of lasting love, but reflective on the years of love spent together. As couples embraced each other, the “remember when” stories were shared. Some of these couples have shared more than 65 years of making memories together.
When receiving their personalized framed photo, Dale spoke lovingly of his wife of nearly 63 years. He said that they have seen lots of changes in the world, been through sickness and health concerns together, and their love has grown stronger with each day they share together. Dale’s tip for staying together so long, “Stay patient and love each other as much as you can.”
Ray and Laura have been together ever since they met during a lunch break at work over thirty years ago. The couple were enjoying a visit from the son, daughter-in-law, and toddler grandson, Brennan, when they received their Lasting Love photos. When asked what the key to their marriage was, Ray suggested, “Just agree, she’s right.”
Tom’s devotion and kindness to his wife never goes unnoticed. That’s why staff chuckled at Tom’s response to “What’s the secret to staying married so long?” Tom and Ginny have been married 61 years. Ginny simply smiled at his reply, “Yes, dear.”
One couple reminisced about their tradition of New Year’s Eve card games with family and large Christmas gatherings with their nine children, 34 grandchildren, and now growing number of great grandchildren. One husband shared the story of compromise in their marriage: he would go to BINGO with her, and she would go to races with him. Lasting Love is patient and kind, and it does not insist on getting its own way. Out of their 53 years together, he recalled only one time that they could not agree to disagree. After all these years later, he could not remember what the argument was about.
Married couples were not the only Lasting Love subjects photographed. The photographer’s flash was no match to the twinkle of the bright eyes that lit up during the mother-daughter sessions, and the father-daughter photos captured the timeless title of “Daddy’s Little Girl”. One daughter remarked, “Oh my goodness! I cannot thank you enough for the beautiful photos of Mom and me. You’ve given me a truly wonderful gift, and I’ll be forever grateful. The photos are the icing on the cake in that seeing them I remember how much fun we had, how much of Mom was ‘Mom’ at her best and most happy. And I’ll always remember that when I see these pictures. All of you folks at Bradford Ecumenical Home share in that gift. I cannot thank you for that.”
Families received a free matted 8 x 10 print along with a copy of the proofs and digital photos to print or share. Lisa Johnson, CEO stated, “It’s one of the sweetest and most heartwarming series I have been a part of during my career. Despite some of these residents having Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, their love for each other still shined through in their portraits. We’re happy to be able to capture these memories for the loved ones that are part of our extended family at Bradford Ecumenical Home, Inc.”