In 1948, Clarence Purvis, 24, met a beautiful and kind-hearted woman named Carolyn, 16. It was love at first sight, with both Clarence and Carolyn truly believing that they had found their soulmate. A year after meeting, they married. They would go on to share 63 years together.
Clarence, now 93, recalls his life as “a dream-life married to a real angel.” The two were happily in love and spent their years falling even more deeply in love, in simple ways. They would spend time in their house, serve as volunteers together, and eat every single meal together. Every day, for the final 13 years of their marriage, they lunched together at a small-town diner.
Sadly, even as their love grew stronger, Carolyn’s health started to take a turn and she grew ill. Not long after the initial decline in her health, sweet Carolyn passed away. Left behind was her husband, best friend, and soulmate Clarence. Although Clarence was heartbroken, his love for his wife remained strong, and even continued to grow as the years went on.
“Ain’t nobody loved one another like me and my wife loved one another,” shares a head-over-heals Clarence. “I wanted what she wanted and she wanted what I wanted. That’s the way we worked.” Clarence was totally in love with Carolyn and it was beautiful to see him talk about his late wife so honorably.
It is clear that, although she was is gone from his physical life, she is never far from his heart. Clarence has preserved his sweetheart’s memory; at home, he has kept her things exactly as they were when she was alive; and every time he goes to their favorite diner- where they had eaten together every day for the last 13 years of her life- he brings along her photos so that he will never be without his favorite lunch date.
Clarence shares that one of the ways he feels connected to his love is by spending his days the same as he did when she was living. Each day around noon, he walks over to their favorite dinner, sits in their favorite booth, and shares a meal and loving conversation. Since her passing, he makes sure to live each day as though they are still together. Her pictures sit across from him and he can often be caught staring into the eyes of his late best friend.
As the days go by, Clarence continues to honor his late wife by sharing stories about her, paying kindness to everyone he talks to, and keeping her gravesite clean. He is recognized as a real man-in-love by all who meet him. While some say that his grieving is somewhat unusual, he just smiles and says, “I love her that much. I know she would do the same for me.”
Clarence says that he is now living life now in honor of hers. He says he smiles often and feels her in every sunrise. While our hearts break for the loss of Carolyn in Clarence’s life, we are also truly overjoyed that the two found each other and were blessed to live beautiful lives together. One day the two lovebirds will be reunited but, until then, may Clarence feel his best friend a little more each day.