A Couple Married for 69 Years Spend Their Last Moments Holding Hands In A Hospital Bed

9 months ago

Real love can actually endure for a whole lifetime. We’ve all heard stories like that, and they never get old. Lately, there was this viral pic of an old couple in a hospital bed, holding hands, and it really touched everyone. That’s because there’s an amazing love story behind that picture, and we’re going to dive into it today.

They were high school sweethearts.

The love story of Virginia and Tommy was way more than just highlights; it was a heartwarming journey scattered across the state of Tennessee.

Tommy Stevens Jr., or “Tommy” as everyone called him, entered into the world on a snowy Christmas Day in 1931, right in Kingsport. Meanwhile, about 71 miles down the road in Jefferson City, Virginia McKarem was born in March. Back then, they had no idea that their paths would ever cross.

Even though they were born miles apart, fate had different plans. Virginia’s family moved to Kingsport, and that’s when the sparks started to fly. Their love story began at Dobyns-Bennett High School, and they quickly became each other’s childhood sweethearts. As time went on, their connection only deepened.

Through thick and thin, but always together

After graduating from high school, they both headed to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and in 1954, they sealed the deal and tied the knot. Just like many other couples of their generation, Tommy joined the U.S. Army, and together, they embarked on a journey that took them to various places in the eastern United States. But no matter where life took them, Tennessee was always their true home.

After their military adventures, they settled down in Memphis, where they welcomed and raised their two kids, Greg and Karen. While living in Memphis, they decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and founded Distribution and Transportation Services, Inc. (DTS). Over the years, DTS grew into a thriving family of transportation and logistics companies, serving the southeastern United States. Their love story, much like their business, was built on a solid foundation of dedication, hard work, and a bond that lasted a lifetime.

The illness that brought them even closer.

As the years passed by, the children grew up and embarked on their own life journeys, and soon enough, the pitter-patter of grandkids filled the air. It was then that Tommy and Virginia decided that one more move was in order.

After an incredible half-century of business with DTS, the couple made the momentous decision to retire. They packed their bags and settled in Franklin, just outside of Nashville, all in the name of being active participants in their grandkids’ lives. Their later years were a whirlwind of school activities, cheering at sporting events, family beach vacations, and simply cherish each other’s company. Life was a beautiful symphony.

However, as time went on, Tommy’s health took a turn for the worse. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the once-vibrant man gradually began to slip away. Virginia, true to her unwavering commitment, stood by his side as always. Tommy’s health deteriorated further while he was in the memory care unit, and he was swiftly transferred to Vanderbilt, where the Medical Center’s Palliative Care Unit became his final refuge as medical treatment lost its effectiveness.

Unfortunately, even Virginia found herself in the hospital, having taken a fall on the very morning Tommy was admitted. Her daughter recalled saying to her mom: “Really, we think that you just needed to check on Dad, and that was your ride.” As the family kept going back and forth between visiting Tommy in the Palliative Care Unit and Virginia in the Trauma ICU, the caring staff brought the couple together to make things easier.

First, they arranged for Virginia to be in a room right next to Tommy’s. Then, they set up a bed right beside Tommy’s so that Virginia could be by his side, giving him comfort and reassurance. “You know, it helped me a lot,” Virginia said. “It just gave me peace that I wouldn’t have to worry about him. He was going to be with me.”

Until the very last moment

One of the hospital staff members remembers the couple’s time there, highlighting how touching it was, even for them. “It reminds me of why we do this work,” she explains. “We take care of people, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, not patients. We brought this family together during one of their most difficult times, with little effort on our part. It involved a call, seeing an extra patient that day, and some conversations.”

“From the time we brought Mrs. Stevens over, she held her husband’s hand and fussed in a very loving way with him,” she adds. “She could tell me Monday that she was at peace with what was going on, and she wanted to be there until the end.”

A touching family photo captures Tommy, and Virginia holding hands in their hospital beds. These two lovebirds shared nearly 69 years of their lives together. Their final days were spent in the hospital, side by side, holding onto each other.

Sadly, Tommy Stevens passed away on September 8, just a day before what would have been their 69th anniversary. Nine days later, Virginia, also 91, joined him. Although their last moments together were spent in a hospital bed, their days were still filled with smiles and the presence of family.

Karen Kreager, the couple’s daughter, shared that when her parents saw each other in the hospital, their faces lit up with joy. She claims, “He was awake when she came in. His eyes were open. He wasn’t communicating a lot, just in small whispers. But he knew that she was there and that she was going to be right beside him. They haven’t stopped holding hands the whole time. She won’t let go of him.”

Love knows no limits or boundaries, and celebrities like Liam Neeson and his late wife have proven this with their inspiring love story.


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