Sadly, the fairytale romance stories are few and far between nowadays. We seem to be in a time that’s riddled with divorce, people opting to play the field, do the dirty or just simply refusing to commit.
This is fine, each to their own and all that – but as a bit of an old-school romantic, it’d be nice to believe ‘the one‘ isn’t just a myth. Finding somebody who is totally compatible with you in every way, somebody who you’re totally consumed by in all the best ways, somebody you’re more than willing to spend the rest of your life with…ideally, they’ll feel the same way about you too.
Modern day can be a stumbling block for this now though and I think it’s partly circumstantial that these once-in-a-lifetime romances just aren’t as common. Lifestyles are very different now to 75 years ago, after all. Nevertheless, the story of Jeanette, 96, and Alexander Toczko, 95, both warmed my heart and broke it a little.
A poignant photo of the pair has emerged and it shows them fulfilling their wish of living together and dying together – the real life Romeo and Juliet, with a little less tragedy and a completely beautiful and fulfilled life shared together before passing.
The pair married in 1940, after starting to ‘date’ at just eight years old (they really didn’t waste time back then). They have five children together and lived in San Diego, California.
Weeks ago, Alexander suffered a broken hip and this left him bed-bound, though after moving a special bed to his home, hospice staff made sure this bed was pushed right up next to his beloved wife’s bed. As his health quickly declined, his wife’s health took a turn for the worse too. The couple had always said they wished to ‘die in bed together, holding hands, in each other’s arms’.
In scenes not too dissimilar to The Notebook, they fulfilled their wish and they passed away earlier this month holding hands: Alexander June 17, Jeanette the very next day.
As Alexander passed, the couple’s daughter Aimee described to the Daily Mail the moment she told her mother her husband had passed, ‘She hugged him and she said, “See this is what you wanted. You died in my arms and I love you. I love you, wait for me, I’ll be there soon”.’
It seems she held true to her final promise since she joined Alexander the next day. The hospice nurse said it was incredible to see them taking their last breaths together.
After moving to San Diego in 1971, Alexander opened his own advertising and fashion photography firm and his wife was his chief stylist so – not only did this couple spend 75 years married and living together, they also spent many of those years working together too. As though spending all the time in the world together would still never be enough.
Mr and Mrs Toczko were buried together in San Diego this Monday – and their daughter says that their hearts had beat as one for as long as they lived.