100-year-old Irish American couple celebrates Valentine’s in Jersey
Couple married 71 years says family, working hard and having fun has kept the together for so long
Grayce and Clarence Dwyer, who are both 100-years-old, have been married for 71 years and this Tuesday they’re celebrating St. Valentine’s Day and still very much in love.
ABC News reports that the couple still ends conversations with “I love you”.
Recently, Clarence told his wife “Grayce, I think I am very old and that I am going home soon. Will you follow me?”
She responded saying, “Like the tail of a kite."
Both Grayce and Clarence are the children of Irish immigrant families and both lost their fathers in the 1917 flu epidemic, on the same day.
The couple, from Madison, New Jersey, have four children, 17 grandchildren, and 12 great- grandchildren. At the center of their lives is their family, their faith, and the notion their family came to America in search of “The American Dream”.
More St. Valentine's Day stories from IrishCentral
Grayce said “We just always got along -- we came from similar lives…We were raised by mothers who taught us what was important to have a valuable life, simply put -- take care of each other and your family. Life was not meant to be easy, so you surround yourself with good people and always have a strong faith that will help you through the hard times."
Clarence, from a large Boston family, was on his way to the priesthood until he met Grayce at a dance in Brooklyn. Grayce had quit school by that time to work. In 1941 they married.
The pair still live in their own home and get around okay with some help from aides.
Their daughter, Donna Dwyer Streaman, told ABC, “Until very recently they have been fiercely independent and still were able to cook and shop even if it meant returning to the local food market more than once a day so that they could prepare their own meals.
"We believe it is a testament to the love they have for each other.”
However, she also says that growing old has been hard for them.
Their daughter continued, “It's very sad for me to look at them now at the end of their life…A year in their life is a decade to them. One little fall can make such a tremendous change."
So what exactly is the secret to their happiness? Well it seems that working hard and having fun is the answer.
She said “Their mothers were survivors and taught them important values such as family, a strong work ethic, and being grateful for every day and moment you have…Mom will say, 'I think it is probably remarkable that we are still here with each other and able to speak about the old days and laugh about the good times we had together and with our family.'"
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