DEARBORN, Mich. - It was love at first...bowl?
"Well the first time we saw each other was on a bowling league," said Kay Withers. "He did say 'maybe we could play tennis sometime or something,' then I never heard from him. I kind of dismissed it."
So maybe not at first sight. But Harry did eventually call. And since their first date, a relationship spawned, lasting a lifetime. Marrying on Feb. 28, 1970, they had three kids. Now, four grandchildren later, the couple is preparing to celebrate an impressive feat: 50 years of marriage.
"He is such a laid-back easy-going gentle man and he would do anything for anybody even now you want to help me all the time don't you Harry?" Kay said. "Yeah, he's a sweetheart."
But over the course of those five decades, something has changed. Harry has developed dementia, which continues to worsen. To compensate for his deteriorating condition, the Withers moved into Henry Ford Retirement Community in Dearborn where Kay can take care of her husband.
Receiving assistance from Synergy Homecare, that's when Kay found out about the Senior Genie Dream Contest.
"I read it, 'what would your dream be?' And I thought 'what would my dream be' and then I thought about the fact our anniversary is coming up," said Kay.
With Harry's memories continuing to fade, Kay wanted to celebrate their marriage while her husband can still remember their love and recognize his family. So, she submitted a letter to the homecare's owner.
"It was generally the love that we could see in her response. It wasn't just one, but it was the whole context of it and it was something that we said 'hey this is the one we go to do and we're excited to be able to do it," said Synergy Homecare Owner Jeff Schultz.
So Synergy is flying out their children and hosting their 50th-anniversary party. That includes dozens of their closest family and friends will be there to celebrate their big day - a dream come true for Kay.
"I want them to be able to talk to him and smile with him and maybe even dance," said Withers. "I think having all the people around that have come to support us and show their love is going to mean a great deal to the both of us."
If anyone is looking for advice on how to pull off commitment for such an extended period of time, pay attention to the sentiment below.
"Just keep in touch with each other and make sure you show each other some love. Because you need that to get through raising children and all the financial stresses and moving houses and whatever you do," said Withers.