Piedmont couple of 69 years shares longtime ritual that helps keep their love alive

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — As with most of us, teenaged Frances Holder, in her mind, fancied a certain type of mate. Then she happened to spy a dark, handsome fella named Robert.

"The blonde one was out of my mind then, blue eyes was out of mind, he was it," she laughed as she remembered meeting her husband of 69 years, Robert.

Robert was working at his after school job at a grocery story in Mount Airy that day.

"She somehow laid her affection on me, asked my brother about who I was and since that day, we just always wanted to see each other," said Robert.

The two married February 22, 1947. Since then, they've created a longtime love, rich with family, community and their faith. Robert is the former longtime assistant superintendent at Mount Airy Schools. Both remain very active in their church.

Their almost seven decade long marriage wasn't always easy, far from it. They lost their first baby, he was away for few years while serving in the Korean War and in the early days, money was very tight.

"You don't always know how things will work out, there are things that happen that when they do, you don't understand," said Robert.

About 40 years ago, they created a ritual of going out to breakfast, just the two of them, to catch up on their day.

"It's our time to reconnect, talk about things that we're doing, how we feel. I think it's essential to develop the skill of sharing your feelings and talking things through. When you don't, there's a separateness, I think," Robert said.

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