MACON, Ga. — You never know when that one person who could change your life will come along – no matter your age or location. Doreen Spillers remembers meeting John well…
"We started having lunch together and that's how it would start, and I would give him my dessert and I wasn't supposed to because he's diabetic also," she giggled.
Faith Regan is an administrator at Archway Transitional Care.
"Even if you go into a nursing home, it's not the end of your life. It can just be the beginning of your life," said Regan.
She jokingly says she keeps an eye on one couple.
"I do watch to make sure there is no hanky panky happening in the hallways," she said with a hearty laugh.
John and Doreen aren't big on outlandish displays of affection, but just how tightly they hold hands will tell you something special is going on here.
"He said, 'Come here a minute,' and I said, 'What do you want?' and he kissed me," recalled Doreen.
"It was like a crush; it was like a school boy crush, but I was fascinated by her and it developed into something far more than I anticipated," he said. "One day we were sitting in the dayroom and I just blurted it out, 'Do you want to get married?'"
Doreen said 'I do.'
They had a big ceremony inside the hall. The staff took them to get rings beforehand and, of course, you've got to have a nice cake.
John isn't used to this attention. At 62, he was a bachelor and he's also blind because of macular degeneration.
"A nursing home for example... you don't expect to find true love in there and it's just something that happened and I've really been blown away by the whole thing," he said with a smile.
John and Doreen are pretty happy here, but they may soon leave. They are so stable together they have plans to move into an assisted living center.
"It would afford us more freedom. It would allow us to go outside and sit on the porch and go to the store when we want to go to the store," John reasoned.
It's a whole new world for the Spillers; a second chance at an unlikely time in their lives.
"When I get up in the morning, I smile now," Doreen said lovingly. "Before, I just felt this is the time in my life where I just have to spend it by myself, but now it's not like that. I have him and we're a family together."
The Spillers now live in the same room at Archway. They're working it out with the state on when they'll make the move to an assisted care facility.