Some love lasts longer than a lifetime. The love between Ted Richardson and his wife, Florence, is a love that every couple strives for.
Richardson takes three buses from his Waikiki, Hawaii, apartment to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where Florence is buried.
Here, he tends to her grave and trims the grass and leaves away, making sure the grave site is in pristine condition.
Richardson told KGMB-TV that it is the least he can do after she took care of him for the last 72 years.
“I always tell her when I go up there, ‘Payback time,'” Richardson told KGMB-TV.
Visiting the cemetery six days a week, rain or shine, Richardson typically arrives just after the gates open at 6:30 a.m. He is often the first visitor there.
Richardson and Florence met when he was only 16, and she was 14.
“I was standing in the hall,” Richardson told KGMB-TV. “The classes were changing and I saw a beautiful girl.
“I went home and told my dad that night I saw the girl I was going to marry.”
The Pennsylvania couple was separated for a short time as Richardson fought in WWII, but he kept a photo of Florence near to his heart everywhere he went.
“She was beautiful. I didn’t mind looking at her all the time,” Richardson told KGMB-TV.
When Richardson returned from the war, he married Florence and they had a son together. Florence worked for the FBI and Richardson was a school teacher.
“I never heard her say a bad word,” Richardson told KGMB-TV. “For 72 years she lost her temper only once — in 72 years! And it was my fault.”
When Richardson visits his wife, he doesn’t go empty handed as he brings her flowers. Now, the security staffers drive him up the hill where his wife’s grave is because it has gotten harder for him to walk.
Being the doting husband that he is, he has already made arrangements for the church to continue bringing Florence flowers when he is gone.
But for now, Richardson has no plans of stopping his visits to see Florence, as she is the love of his life.
In total, Richardson has visited Florence’s grave over 1,300 times.
“They say, ‘How do you keep track?’ I have calendars and I mark them down every day when I come home,” he told KGMB-TV.
“I’ll keep going as long as I can go. God will tell me when I’ve had enough.”
Richardson’s love story proves that true love can last longer than a lifetime. We can all only hope to have a love like that.
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