An elderly couple from New York have captured the hearts of many with their touching love story, which began in their 80s.
Phyllis Raphael, 86, a dedicated writer, and Stan Leff, 89, a retired bookseller, were both married and widowed two times when they stumbled upon each other in a grocery store six years ago.
And although Phyllis could not remember who Stan was, he remembered her… The two had met all the way back in 1984 at a party.
Phyllis, who evidently made a lasting impression on Stan, said that now the feeling is mutual:
“I’m crazy about him,” she told the New York Times
They’d both known the meaning of true love, and Phyllis’ second husband had passed away nine months before she met Stan.
But Phyllis did not suspect that romance would find its way back into her life again.
“I never dreamed there would be someone else. I knew I would be lonely, but I wasn’t looking for a relationship,” she said.
Stan had also been married a couple of times before and was widowed about nine years before running into Phyllis.
And in 2015, they were both out shopping at a Manhattan grocery store when they had an unexpected encounter and started chatting.
“Stan remembered me from a party on Fire Island in 1974. He said I was on a deck serving hors d’oeuvres. But I didn’t remember him,” Phyllis said. “We’d known each other peripherally and seen each other at parties but never spoke to each other until that day.”
A little while after they met, Stan asked a mutual friend for Phyllis’ contact details and invited her out on a date.
On their first date, they went to see the movie Trainwreck. Phyllis said she found Stan ‘very attractive’ and enjoyed his company.
Afterward, they went out for a few more nights filled with entertainment, and she still assumed they’d just be “widowed neighborhood friends”… but one special night proved her wrong.
“Once it was happening, I was so surprised. I thought that part of my life was over, but it wasn’t. At my age you think, “OK, if this is what life is going to hand me I’m going to take it.” So I started seeing him seriously,” she said.
Today, the two lovebirds still keep their own apartments just a few blocks away from each other but spend most of the week together. They also call each other boyfriend and girlfriend but are currently not planning to get married.
Phyllis said that her love for San is a “different kind of love” from the love she felt with her previous husband.
“I’m crazy about him. Not the way I used to be with my husband, but differently,” she added.
“He’s my companion, but so much more. Stan’s at the top of my emergency list. I trust him. He makes me feel safe. He’s kind, reliable. We are good physically.”
She also added that what made the relationship work so well is that she jumped into it with no expectations.
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“You never know what’s around the corner. That thinking has made me happier,” she said.