As somebody who just watched Like Crazy for the first time the other day and has been feeling decidedly pessimistic on love (for other reasons, too, I s’pose), I have to say that reading about Helen and Les Brown made me want to cry and smile and elope with some random guy off the subway. I’m certain their story wasn’t meant to inspire that last reaction, but c’est la vie, Browns — you two have made me all sorts of emotional!
Helen and Les Brown were high school sweethearts who eloped nearly 75 years ago. Despite their parents wishes and doubts — “Helen was from a working-class family, while Les was from a wealthier one,” according to People — they were married on September 19, 1937. Though their individual families believed the pair would never last, they were together for almost three-fourths of a century.
Oddly enough, they were born on the exact same day: December 31, 1918. Sadly, they passed away this month — one day apart. Helen died on July 16 and Les on the 17th, both at the age of 94. According to their kids, this was almost not unexpected:
“It was a real love match, wasn’t it,” their oldest son, Les Jr., said. “They were together every day for 75 years.”
Daniel, the couple’s youngest son, agreed.
“My mom often said she didn’t want to see my father die, and he didn’t want to live without her,” Daniel said.
Goodness gracious, give me a chance to pull myself together because now I’m welling up like crazy. Breathe, Sam.
OKAY. I think I am especially emotional about this because (A) my grandparents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary this week, (B) I watched sappy or horrific movies all day and (C) I’m on day 8 of my period. Basically, my life is a recipe for irrational mood swings at this moment. But even if that weren’t the case, I am certain this story would touch me just as much — it is always incredible to see love last so long and so deeply, after all. It reminds you that there are people who truly, unconditionally, happily love one another and spend every day together for their entire lives, and that is so beautiful.