Despite facing communication challenges due to their advanced years, this devoted elderly couple has found a heartwarming way to connect.
An elderly couple is keeping their love alive through music when words fail. Cyrus McNinch, 96 and Gerry McNinch, 101, live in separate care levels at Provision Living, a senior living home, but come together every Friday for "date mornings." It's a special time for the couple, who look forward to the music session every week. "Friday morning is the high point in the whole week," Gerry told WZZM13, "There’s nothing more beautiful in our lives."
While 96-year-old Cyrus struggles to find the words and can't always speak a full conversation he often sings a whole song to Gerry according to his music therapists. "Giving them that opportunity through music they love and have loved for decades," said Ashley Sherwood, Emmanuel Hospice's music therapy intern. "To do so is just something really unique and special to be a part of."
During their sweet sessions, they lovingly gaze into each other's eyes as they sing. "He will look at me and say, 'Aren't we lucky?' and I’ll say, 'Yes, we are,'" Gerry shared. They often sing songs where they are familiar with the lyrics and can connect with the feelings associated with the song more than anything else. "Sometimes the words aren't there," said Miranda Eden, a music therapist with Emmanuel Hospice. "And so, the lyrics speak for them." Music therapy is a free service offered by Emmanuel Hospice to help "recall happy memories, promote relaxation and improve focus" according to their website.
The couple found love a second time over 30 years ago after both their spouses passed away. They met on a senior's trip to Costa Rica after a power outage led them to a local bar for dinner. As fate would have it, the pair sat next to each other and Gerry recalled that Cyrus was "a gentleman through and through." He even helped her hike through trails the next day. While they enjoyed spending time together they thought they would never see each other again. "He went one way, and I went the other," said Gerry.
However, the two couldn't stop thinking about each other or the wonderful time spent together. When Gerry came back home she received a phone call from none other than Cyrus. He said he wanted to see her again and he couldn't wait anymore. Just a few hours later he turned up at her door. "I said, 'You didn’t even ask how to get here,'" said Gerry. "He said, 'I will always find you."
Couples who have spent decades together often find the sweetest ways to show their love. Back in August, instead of getting his wife, Renee, a regular bouquet for their 50th anniversary, Lee Wilson decided to do something extra special for her. Knowing how much she loves sunflowers, he planted 80 acres of the stunning flowering plant.
"We're celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary on August 10 and you know, what's a guy get his gal on their 50th? And I put a lot of thought into it and she always liked sunflowers and I thought this is the year to plant sunflowers, so we planted her 80 acres of sunflowers," Wilson told ABC News affiliate KAKE-TV in Wichita at the time. "What did Renee have to say about that? "It made me feel very special. There couldn't have been a more perfect anniversary gift than a field of sunflowers," she said.