Some say that marriage between a husband and wife is predestined and meant to be. This is so true for this elderly couple, who loved and cherished each other, in sickness and in health, till death did they part.
Tom, 84, and Delma Ledbetter, 82, a married couple of 62 years, took their last breath together on their deathbeds, dying hand-in-hand, in a nursing home, on April 21.
Tom died first, subsequently followed by Delma
A touching photo of the couple holding hands before they passed away, just less than 90 minutes apart of each other.
“What a sweet way to go. Such a long time together and up till the very end,” wrote Sondra Larson on her Facebook.
The photo of the couple, dying holding hands, inspired many netizens
“It was exactly how they wanted to go. It couldn’t have been any better,” said their daughter Donetta Nichols.
Their love story began when they were in their early 20s, during the 1950s.
The loving couple from Lake Jackson knew each other through mutual friends while living in Florida, and straight away, they knew that they were meant to be together.
A vintage photo of Tom and Delma Ledbetter in their 20s
Their first date wasn’t that romantic and it happened when Tom was moving his car.
“They drove around two, three different blocks or whatever and they came back and they parked,” said Nichols.
“He said he reached over and he grabbed her hand and he said, ‘I don’t know what made me do it’. He said, ‘I just reached over and gave her a kiss on the cheek’,” said Nichols.
And three weeks later, they got married.
The couple spent their twilight years touring around the U.S.
Tom and Delma, who were survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, relied on each other for companionship in their twilight years. They traveled around the U.S., visiting campsite to campsite.
In April, Delma fell sick, followed by Tom
Then in April, Delma became so ill, followed by Tom days later, that they had to be hospitalized in a nursing home.
“They couldn’t get a pulse. They couldn’t get a blood pressure. They couldn’t get anything. Yet mama was just hanging on to something. It seems that ‘something,’ was her husband Tom, as strangely he fell ill shortly after his beloved wife,” recounted Nichols.
“We got him over to the nursing home with Mama. They had pushed their little beds together and Mama was laying right there, facing him. She was asleep and Daddy goes and he reached over there and he grabbed a hold of her hand and he just laid there with her, and it was so sweet,” she continued.
Indeed, such a story of lasting love and devotion is uncommon in today’s world when divorce is rampant. Their sweet love story serves to remind us that marriage is a solemn vow we should keep “until death do us part”.