Couples will celebrate with flowers, candy, and maybe a dinner out tonight. For one central Iowa couple, this day is both exciting, and a little sad.
Martha and Gordon Bivens act like they’ve been married for years. Martha Bivens said, “He kissed me, and that was it.” Gordon Bivens replied, “I felt the spark.”
But, their love is a young love. They met for the first time less than a year ago, when Martha moved to The Village in Indianola last May.
But, they say it wasn’t love at first sight. Mrs. Bivens laughed, “No, I don’t think so. Mr. Bivens said, “I don’t think quite that rapidly, but it was a nice lunch.”
The Resident Liason asked Gordon, along with Naomi and Ray Grimes to take Martha to lunch to plant the seeds of friendship. Then, love started to bloom. Friend Naomi Grimes said, “As time went on, I thought hmm, that may be more than an acquaintance, which it was.”
Martha became Mrs. Bivens January 12th of this year. She joked, “Same last name, yes, I’m having trouble remembering, but that’s ok.”
This isn’t either spouse’s first marriage. Martha was a widow for about ten years. Gordon’s first wife died in the fall of 2011 after suffering from Alzheimer’s. Mr. Bivens said, “We would have had our 60th anniversary on Valentine’s Day this year.”
Martha said to him, “I’m going to give you some time to grieve your other marriage. Your first marriage, 60th anniversary is really something.” She went on to say, “You don’t ever forget that. That’s part of your life forever, and it’s precious to you forever, but this is something new, and it’s a lot of fun.”
The couple will spend Valentine’s Day having a steak dinner at The Village. They say they’re excited to celebrate, and have advice for other couples.
Martha laughed, “I think chocolate makes a big difference.” Mrs. Bivens said her husband is also helpful in the kitchen. But, in all seriousness, they said it’s about understanding. Mr. Bivens said, “Realize what the other person is feeling, and doing and try to respond to that, take account of that, try to work through to the point of really approaching things with a ‘we’ attitude.”
That’s something the newlyweds say has worked for them, at least for the past four weeks.