Mr. Le Van Se (96 years old) and his wife, Ms. Nguyen Thi Loi (88 years old), live in Hoi An, Vietnam.
They fell in love with each other in the 30s and got married after 10 years. Soon after their wedding, the country fell into war again. Mr. Se joined the army and was captured by the enemy during the war. With longing and pain piling up, his wife stayed at home, waiting every day for her lost husband. In 1954, Mr. Se came home from the battlefield and the couple reunited after so many years of separation. Since then, they built a life together.
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The couple has 5 children and lived with them in a small village in the outskirts of Hoi An, Quang Nam. The village is called Tra Que, famous for growing vegetables to supply to Hoi An and the surrounding areas.
It’s easy to see that they were a rare couple. They lived happily together until they grew old. With the power of love, they overcame all difficulties in life and marriage. They cared for each other and enjoyed happiness together.
I met them nearly 10 years ago—at that time, the husband was still in good health. Every afternoon, he carried buckets of water to water the vegetables while she sat next to him and picked them. They made each other laugh and shared many conversations.
With those beautiful images, the news about Mr. and Mrs. Se spread everywhere. Visitors visiting the ancient town of Hoi An also took some time to visit them and take photos.
One day, Ms. Nguyen Thi Loi slipped and broke her leg. She just laid in one place because she couldn’t move. Mr. Se took care of Ms. Loi and their children. Sadly, because of her old age and the pain of the broken leg, she passed away at the age of 88.
With the loss of his wife, his life-time partner, Mr. Se was in deep pain and sadness. His health diminished, making it difficult for him to move around, but he still took care of her memorial altar every day and always talked to her in front of it.
Tourists and photographers were visiting less and less due to the death of his wife. The perfect couple was no longer together for their perfect photos and they gradually moved away from him, leaving him with sadness and memories as he kept whispering about his past, the joys that he used to feel.
A great love that few people will ever achieve in their lifetime. They lived to love each other for the rest of their lives, still feeling like they were as young and in love as the day they first met.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2020.
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