89 year old Ruby Coleman and her husband Harold, 90, got married in 1952 and today, after an entire life together, their love for each other is still just as it was in the beginning. Consider their budding family they have five kids of their own and the fact that they made it to their 65th wedding anniversary, and you have undeniable proof of that love. What more is that Ruby suffers from dementia and her husband is one of the last people she consistently recognizes.
To celebrate their 65th anniversary, the couple has a series of poignant photographs, captured by photographer Megan Vaughan, that illustrate their joy in reaching this milestone. From the moment Vaughan met the couple — for a shoot five years ago on the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary — she knew they were the real deal. “Ruby and Harold represent a marriage that everyone should aspire to,” she wrote on her blog in 2012. “I feel completely blessed to have gotten the privilege to meet them and get a glimpse of their wonderful, fulfilling marriage.
Unfortunately, in the five years since Vaughan had seen her last, Ruby’s dementia worsened — she couldn’t remember her and Harold’s magical session years ago, shot on their family farm. When Vaughan arrived at her home, however, prepared with a box of cookies, Ruby greeted her like family. “It’s so sad to know that she won’t remember me, her cookies or the wonderful time we had together,” Vaughan wrote. “But she’ll enjoy looking at the pictures and that’s exactly why I do what I do.”
According to Vaughan, Harold, a former building contractor, was exactly the same, “cutting jokes and always smiling.” For the shoot, he couldn’t help but show off in his tux, which he’d found second-hand for under $15. “The coat was about 3 sizes too big, but Harold is so handsome that you can’t even tell,” wrote Vaughan. “His bowtie has been in his wardrobe for over 65 years!”
Dressed in a floor-length dress and lace shrug with a bouquet in hand, Ruby looked beautiful and radiated pride in the arms of her loving, handsome husband. When their photographer suggested they kiss, Ruby proved that dementia hadn’t claimed her sass: “She goes, ‘Ooooooh! Haven’t I kissed him enough?’ She is hilarious!” Vaughan wrote.
“Despite her dementia, [Ruby] recognizes Harold and loves him more and more each day,” she continued. “You can see it in her eyes.”
You most certainly can and it’s enough to make us wipe our own eyes. As more things become unsure for Ruby, she still has Harold and her five children, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, too, of course. You can see the entirety of the photo-shoot on Vaughan’s website and here’s their 60th anniversary session if you have an extra box of tissues!