For the last 75 years, Jean Roper has been married to the love of her life. The pair are now in their 90s, but their love is even the more adorable. The couple raised three strong, godly sons, instilling in them the value of a hard day’s work and the importance of family. However, not too long ago, Jean’s body began showing signs of renal failure. She set up her doctor’s appointment, only to be met with news that she had only three weeks to live. One of the couple’s seven great-grandchildren, Kayla Tracy, said, “When my family heard this, we prayed harder than we ever have before.”
Kayla’s sister, who was pregnant at the time, decided to quit her job so she could care for her great-grandmother in her final days. Every day Jean would say to her, “I just want to live long enough to see that baby girl.”
At 36 weeks, baby Magnolia Jean was born. When Jean heard of the baby’s arrival and that she had been named after her she was beside herself with excitement.
Kayla, a photographer, planned with the family so she could capture the moment Jean would meet her 11th great-great-grandchild. The moment Jean held little Magnolia in her arms it was love at first sight, but more than that, it was a miracle.
After meeting baby Magnolia, something in Jean “flipped”. She started to get stronger and quickly outlived the doctors’ expectations. On March 5, 2018, 9 weeks after doctors gave her three weeks to live, she got to celebrate the 75th anniversary of her marriage to her husband, and again Kayla met up with them so she could take some special anniversary pictures.
Kayla revealed, “After being on bed rest from her diagnosis, great-grandmother didn’t feel beautiful any longer, even though we all told her how beautiful she still looked.The day I took these anniversary photos of them, I told her I was going to meet them at their home after they ate lunch so they were still dressed to the nines and she couldn’t say no!
When they got out of their car, I could tell she felt beautiful! She was fluffing her hair constantly and asking me if her makeup looked good! I told her, ‘You look beautiful, you are beaming with love.’ She replied, ‘That’s good, I’m glad I’m still beaming with love after 75 years.’”
At one point, Kayla asked her great-grandmother to kiss her great-grandfather so she could get a sweet photo. Jean blushed and just gave Kayla a big smile.
“Alright, I won’t look!” Kayla said.
That’s when Jean reached up and planted a sweet kiss on her husband’s cheek.
“Glad I at least got that perfect shot!” Kayla said.
“Taking these photos is one of the many reasons I became a photographer. To be able to pause these moments for my family and for them, means everything to me. I enjoy photographing them every second I get. I am so blessed to have been able to capture such true love. Such a love I can only hope for with my husband. I want everyone to see these photos and know, true love is real.” Kayla said.
The family doesn’t know how much longer they will have with Jean, but they do know the extra time they’ve had are a miracle and that every day is a gift.