• Jim and Elinor Rigby 57th wedding anniversary

Surprise 57th anniversary goes viral…brings tears to our eyes!

If you’ve kept an eye on what’s trending on Twitter this week, you might already have discovered the true love story of Jim and Elinor Russell –the sort that sends the Spark Of Love office into the kind of squeal fest we normally reserve for Jammie Dodger hour.

Amongst the latest on Kim Kardashian’s bum and Britain’s Got Talent’s talking dog, comes the story of a Georgia couple sadly unable to splash out on their 57th wedding anniversary, as their special day fell during the long-time bride’s month-long hospital stay.

But Jim wasn’t going to let that stop him from celebrating with the woman he loves. Being a dapper sort, he wasted no time donning the tuxedo he wore for their ballroom dancing lessons in former years, splashing out on a colourful bouquet and his wife’s favourite choccies, and turning up to surprise his sweetheart. When their granddaughter Reid shared the fun times on Twitter, the story travelled the Internet like wildfire – being re-tweeted over 40,000 times and counting, and resulting in a broadcast by ABC News! Just goes to show how much we all love a love story. 

my grandma is in the hospital, but it's their 57th anniversary, so he showed up in a tux to surprise her w flowers😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/wIS8rvcyDw

— reid (@reidrussell_) May 21, 2015

The pair then spent the evening together, watching their favourite game shows, Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy, and chatted about old times over dinner. “We had a wonderful time,” said Elinor, who was also treated to a makeover for the occasion by her daughters. “Being in a hospital bed, you get bored, so when he came in, it made me smile like the younger days when we were dancing,” she said.

It wasn’t long before journalists were queuing up at the door, wanting to know the secret to the Russell’s lasting love. “I’ve known her since she was in pigtails,” said Jim, though he admits it was some time before the pair realised they were meant to be together – they didn’t really notice one another to begin with, despite growing up in adjacent neighbourhoods.

Jim went to a military college, before going off to fight in World War II, becoming a combat bomber pilot and flying 30 missions over Germany in a B-24 Liberator. After the war, he went to Georgia Tech, and it was there he bumped into a familiar face from his childhood – young Elinor, not quite in pigtails any more.

The rest, as they say, is history. But there is one another fact about their relationship that Jim and Elinor let slip, though the details remain between the two of them: they eloped to marry! “It was on a dark, stormy day,” was the only fact Elinor – with a twinkle in her eye one imagines - shared with the press.

This isn’t the first time the couple have made an effort to mark their marriage. They spent their 50th wedding anniversary in Hawaii and once splashed out on a trip to Rome. But something tells us this is one they won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Happy anniversary Jim and Elinor!

Image: Twitter: @reidrussell_

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Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.