A Tribute to Everlasting Love: Joe + Wanda – 63 Happy and Love-Filled Years Together

Who says that love has an expiration date? Despite the ever-present pessimism that impinges on society, there are relationships that have defied this depressing theory… and succeeded! Wanda and Joe are proof of this after 63 years in love with photos to show for this unbreakable union. Their granddaughter, the photographer, Shalyn Nelson, did the collage as part of her project entitled ‘Love, The Nelsons’ that focuses on these kinds of romantic stories. The pair, with the help of their granddaughter has emitted hope to the world with their special representation of love.

Photo: Shalyn Nelson

These two lovers met in the middle of the last century. Joe, who was always a romantic, felt love at first sight when he saw Wanda passing by on the street. Apart from being a romantic, Joe is brave and he demonstrated this by valiantly stopping his car and asking his future wife on a date. Joe’s bold and seductive actions made it difficult for the young girl to say no, and so she accepted. As we have said on numerous occasions, love (in all its different forms) conquers all, and finally Joe and Wanda promised to stick by one another in 1950. Two years later, the wedding bells sounded!  

Photo: Shalyn Nelson
Photo: Shalyn Nelson

For the photographer, her grandparents’ love is both honest and sincere. For this reason, she couldn’t think of anyone else who would be a better fit for her ambitious and hopeful project. Her aim? To show the world that love truly exists and that it’s not just in fairy-tales or films. “When all is said and done, love is the only thing that matters”, says Shalyn Nelson.

Photo: Shalyn Nelson
Photo: Shalyn Nelson

The granddaughter of the couple also suggested that they write one another a letter detailing their feelings for one another. We’ve vouched for this many times at Zankyou, as its important to express yourself if you want a healthy relationship (without being sickly sweet.) Wanda and Joe’s letters, which they read aloud, melted our hearts. Here’s a snippet of what Wanda means to Joe:

“Dear Wanda,

A long time has passed since I last wrote a letter to you. I believe it was when I was working in Canada. Even so, I still love you as much as I did then, probably more. The years have gone by so quickly; its like one morning, you wake up and suddenly you are old. Still, I wouldn’t change them for all the money in Alaska. I love you more than the day we got married, and the marriage license only cost me two dollars. It’s the best business I ever did in my life.”

Photo: Shalyn Nelson

It doesn’t take fancy literature to make sense of what you feel inside. Thanks to Joe and Wanda for giving us hope. Let’s all take note!

EDIT: Zankyou would like to pass their most sincere condolences to Joe and Wanda’s family, as Joe sadly passed away late last year. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

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