“Yesterday was your birthday and I completely forgot to call or send a card,” Maga said. “But do you know how I remembered?”

“It’s yours and Jobo’s anniversary today,” I said.

“Our 73rd.”

“I always remember because it’s the day between my birthday and Sister J’s.”

“Why, yes, you’re right.”

“73 years is an impressive feat. Did you do any celebrating while my mom and dad were there this weekend?”

“Not really, no, because the most important person wasn’t there.”

Her voice was raw with love lost and so I did the only thing I could. “Tell me more about why you chose January to get married. It’s kind of an unusual month.”

“Jobo graduated MIT in 1941. I graduated Wellesley in 1942 so we couldn’t do any of those years. And then in December of 1942, Pearl Harbor happened and Joe decided to enlist. It was awful. We got married January 9, 1943 and he left for the Navy a couple of weeks later. He got an assignment in Alaska and I moved to California so in case he got leave, it would be easier for him to get to California than New Jersey.”

“Did you like California?”

“Oh, yes. I lived in a home with other service wives. I got a job. And then Jobo got reassigned to DC which was good because that meant I could be with him.”

And for 64 more years, they remained together. A love story of epic proportions.

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