Earlier this month a California couple married for 67 years passed away just five hours apart, while holding hands. You can no longer say that epic love stories like The Notebook don’t exist in real life.
Like the film’s Noah and Allie (played by James Garner and Gena Rowlands, the elder versions of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams’ characters), Floyd and Violet Hartwig stuck together until the very end. Daughter Donna Scharton tells ABC News that her mother’s dementia worsened around the holidays, just before her father experienced kidney failure. The family then put the couple in hospice together, but it was clear neither wanted to let go. “We could tell my dad was in a lot more pain. We said ’it’s getting close,’ so we pushed the hospital beds together as far as we could,” Scharton told ABC. “We put their hands together, and my dad died holding my mom’s hand. Mom was not coherent, but we told her that dad had passed away and that he was waiting for her. She died five hours later.”
Scharton says her parent’s love story began when they met in grammar school and evolved into an inseparable pair when her dad returned from the Navy. “They weren’t fancy,” she says, “They were just decent people that were always committed to each other, no matter the situation. They never, ever asked for anything. All they ever wanted was their family and it was amazing that they got that in the end.”
In a cynical world of speed dating and swiping left or right to find love, this is exactly the story we needed to prove that true love does exist. Have you ever cried at your cubicle on a Thursday morning? There’s a first time for everything.
If The Notebook still gets you, it should make you feel better to know that Ansel Elgort is right there with you.