This Couple, Who've Been Married For 47 Years (and Beat Cancer Twice), Will Make You Believe in Love
Many couples vow to stay together "in sickness and in health," but not all prevail 47 years past the altar, as Wanda and Marvin have. Since their 1970 backyard ceremony in Wilkesboro, NC, the college sweethearts' promises to each other still stand true at the ages of 67 and 70. But their lasting marriage hasn't been without hardships. Just three years after tying the knot, Marvin was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, followed by colon cancer in 1987 and prostate cancer in 2013. Never leaving his side through the years, Wanda was later diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2014. Despite the hits they've taken over the course of their relationship, giving up was never an option. Today, Marvin is a two-time cancer survivor and winning the battle with MS, while Wanda is currently beating PD.
"We made a vow on our wedding day, through sickness and health, and have always been determined that we can and will overcome anything," the couple told POPSUGAR. "On the days that one of us is down, the other one picks us up."
Every year for their holiday card, the incredible pair does a small portrait session, photographed by their daughter Amber, a wedding and portrait photographer in Raleigh, NC. This year, they decided to go glam, and the two couldn't look any more in love. When Amber posted one of their pictures on Instagram with a heartfelt caption about her parents and what they've been through, it caught the attention of the internet.
When we asked Amber to describe her parents in three words, she responded with, "They. are. amazing." And in all sincerity, amazing they are.
"If you could meet them, my parents are probably two of the most humble people that you'll ever meet in your life," Amber told us. "Almost all of my friends call my mom and dad, 'Mom' and 'Dad.'"
Just by looking at their photos ahead, you'll be able to almost feel the tenderness and love they have for each other through your screen. And none of that is just for show.
"That's how they are every day," Amber told us. "My sister and I used to get so grossed out because they're always hugging each other, kissing each other. As little kids you don't want to see that, but as an adult I am so glad I had that example."
The secrets to a lasting marriage, according to Wanda and Marvin, include "truth, honesty, and not letting the small things get you down." Most importantly, couples should always remember to keep laughing and having fun — especially through the tougher times. One of the most important lessons they've passed down to their daughters about overcoming struggles is that it begins with mindset.
"If you go into anything thinking that it's going to be easy, when it's hard, you'll want to give up," Amber said. "But if you go into things expecting that every good thing requires work, whenever it is time to work, you don't feel like it's such a burden. And I think that one of the things they really have taught us is that nothing worth having comes easy."
If Wanda and Marvin aren't relationship goals, we don't know who is.
See their stunning photos!