Couple celebrates 71 years of marriage through window due to coronavirus crisis

Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 9:49 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - When you imagine celebrating over seventy years of marriage you probably don’t think you’re going to have to do so through a window.

“I miss you!” Calvin Manuel said, as he blew kisses to his wife Betty through a window at Resthaven.

The Manuels met in 1948 when Muller’s Lofts in downtown Lake Charles was still a department store.

“My cousins introduced me. I have two first cousins who worked behind the counter at the old Muller’s coffee shop. She introduced me and we hit it right off,” Manuel, said, laughing.

Betty now lives at Resthaven Nursing Home and Calvin is used to visiting her every day. But — due to Governor John Bel Edwards’ stay-at-home order, which restricts visitors from nursing homes, they had to celebrate 71 years together a little differently.

“All four of my kids, some grand-kids, a bowl of flowers and some little cakes they made! And a window we couldn’t get through," Manuel said.

That moment was captured through photos that were posted online. Calvin showing Betty the bouquet he brought her and the two sharing a piece of cake through a window. Calvin said the distance has been difficult.

“It’s not any fun! It’s no fun," Manuel said.

But, he said, they’re making it work. We asked him what the secret was to a strong marriage after 71 years and he said, “We both agreed with each other, no arguments, no fights! If she was willing, I was willing and it went just fine.”

The Manuels have six kids, eleven grand-kids and seventeen great-grandchildren.

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