'She was mine from the beginning'

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Robert worked well into his 80s, and his last job was as a freelance painter. But that came to a sudden end one day when a truck he was driving was struck broadside by a vehicle whose driver went through a red light. Robert’s airbag didn’t deploy, and he suffered a brain injury and spent two months in the hospital. He was partially paralyzed on his left side, but Leonora said that doctors attributed his recovery to his lifelong work ethic. “Because he had the strength,” she said. “We lived through that, so we have a lot to be thankful and grateful for.”

Sunrise Senior Living has about 100 residents, who have their own apartments and receive the specific care they need. “It’s a very friendly place,” said Robert. “The people are very nice.”

The facility offers a range of activities and games, Leonora said, adding that Robert receives regular physical therapy there.

The family is already planning a backyard barbecue to celebrate Robert’s milestone birthday on June 18. “We’re going to be all together for his 90th birthday,” said Leonora. “We’re looking forward to that.”

Asked about the secret to their long marriage, Leonora said, “You don’t always agree, you don’t have to agree, everybody has their own life. But always be there for each other.

“We’ve enjoyed our life — enjoyed our children,” she added. “We have no regrets. We’re just looking forward to continue being together as long as we can.”

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