Valdemira Rodrigues de Oliveira said yes to her 66-year-old toy boy Aparecido Dias Jacob at a ceremony despite being given advice by physicians not to go ahead with it.
The two lovers with the combined age of 172 years have separate rooms at Nossa Senhora Fatima retirement home in Pirassununga, south east Brazil, and were determined to prove it’s never too late to be with your soul mate after three years together.
Medics assessed their health and age and warned the duo, known affectionately as Valda and Jaco, would not be able to cope with living on their own.
But the elderly sweethearts exchanged engagement rings in a betrothal service organised by volunteers under an initiative called the ‘Project Of Dreams’.
Volunteer Fabiane Zaffalon said, “As they couldn’t get married we came up with another way to make their dreams come true by holding an engagement ceremony at the retirement home.”
In Brazil, an engagement ring is placed on the third finger of the right hand and when the person gets married the same band is swapped to the ring finger on the left hand.
Speaking about her love for her future husband, the centenarian said, ‘I fell in love with him.
“I like him a lot. If he dies, I die too.”
The two lovebirds were among 40 residents at the elderly care home who were asked by the project’s organisers what they would like to do “most in their life to make them happy”.
Fabiane Zaffalon, a volunteer at the home, said, “We came up with the idea last November to use the ‘Project Of Dreams’ to find out from our elderly residents what they wanted to fulfil in their lives.
“We asked Valda and Jaco separately what their dreams were. They both said to get married and to have a little house where they could live together.”
But doctors warned organisers the couple’s age and health problems would make it difficult for them to do this.
Fabiane added, “So we decided to make Valda and Jaco’s wishes come true by arranging a spectacular engagement party where they could pledge their love for each other.”
The loves-truck pair met at the residential home in 2014 and it was love at first sight for Jaco, who suffers from paralysis of the left arm.
He has been living in the home for 19 years after being homeless and unemployed.
Jaco said, “I fell in love with Valda from the moment I saw her. I know she’s a little older than me, but that doesn’t matter because she makes me really happy.
“I asked her to marry me and we always believed it would happen but getting engaged is a step forward for us right now.”
The couple are inseparable and spend all day with each other, chatting, eating their meals together and sitting side by side in the home.
“I know it’s not going to happen but I would have loved to be able to wash Jaco’s clothes, cook his meals and look after him like a wife,” Valda said.
It’s the first time either of them has been married.
Neither has children, and most of Valda’s relatives have died, while Jaco has lost touch with his family.
-Daily Mail, UK
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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