We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ – and, in this case, it’s never been truer. At first glance, it’s just a candid, slightly out-of-focus photograph of an elderly couple eating together at a local fast food restaurant.
However, once you dig a little deeper, it’s a story of love, endurance and lifelong friendship.
First shared by the Love What Matters page on Facebook, the image is accompanied by a caption, reading: “As I was sitting eating my double cheeseburger at Wendy's, I glanced over at this older couple, and thought, 'That's sweet', and continued with my meal.
“But when I looked again, in between bites, I saw this gentleman feeding his wife. My whole life I've yearned for a love that strong.”
It continues: “The gentleman got up from his seat to throw his food away and I couldn't resist asking how long he and his wife had been married. He looked at me and asked me to guess his age but not to guess too low.
“After a few guesses he told me he was 96 and his wife is 93… [and that she] is suffering from Alzheimer's. This is their date night. He also told me that if they make it till June, they will be celebrating 75 years of marriage!”
The post finishes by saying: “Getting all the way to the end of the line with the person you started out with is one of the most glorious things on the face of this earth. Could a couple be more blessed than to have that happen?
“To share a deep love and bond that only grows as we age, that is a beautiful thing.”
The post has had a huge impact on social media, with, at time of writing, more than 25,000 shares and some 4,600 comments.
“My grandpa would feed my grandma long after she had forgotten who she was,” wrote one user, clearly touched by the story. “However she wouldn’t eat for anyone else. Somewhere, in her heart’s memory, she know who he was.”
Another added: “My husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease at 54. This is the worst possible outcome for someone young. It takes them away in mind, but the healthy body struggles. After 10 years, he died at home [and it was a] struggle which changed me forever.
“Please live each day you have. Be present. Put the iphone down. Love the people who love you back. Do not take anyone or any thing for granted.”