NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Every day at exactly 11:30 a.m., a man arrives at an assisted living center to deliver a milkshake to his wife of 67 years.
As we approach a day when we celebrate romantic love - this is a story of true love, of tenderness and grit.
Ray and Doris Beeson fell in love the moment they laid eyes on each other, but they have stayed in love through conversation, commitment and dating.
Ray Beeson, 90, walks like he has a plane to catch when he brings a milkshake to his wife at 11:30 a.m. sharp every day.
"Every day, every single day my dad is here with that milkshake,” said Beeson’s daughter, Gayla Pugh. "You best be out of the way because he hustles to see her every day."
He is here to see his wife Doris. They have been married 67 years. Ray still remembers the moment he first saw her.
“I saw her on the church steps Sunday morning and somehow I knew it was her," Ray said. "I always told people there was no such thing as love at first sight, but there it was."
Doris has Alzheimer's now. After taking care of her by himself for years, Ray finally moved her into the lodge at Natchez Trace in Bellevue. He is there every single day.
“You probably think it’s kind of foolish, but I call her baby girl and I started out that way 67 years ago," Ray said. "I love her."
Although most days the conversation is one-sided, it doesn't matter. Ray visits and feeds his baby girl with joy.
“She will tell him I love you when she has a clear place in her mind," Gayla Pugh said. "It is a beautiful story."
Beeson grew up poor on a farm in Oklahoma. He dropped out of school to fight in World War II at age 15, and then came home, used the G.I. Bill to get a PhD and became a preacher.
“Through all of that the fight, through all of that adversity, the fight of his life is with the love of his life,” said his son-in-law John Pugh. “Love is easy when things are great...the mettle of love is tested when the waters are rough."
Ray sees all of this as a gift so precious that he will not ask God for anything, not even one more day.
“How can I ask for more?" Ray said. "I would like some more time, but how could I ask for it when he has given me so much? She is beautiful. You saw that yourself."
Ray Beeson has a profound piece of marriage advice. If you are married within 10 years you will develop some problems. If you divorce and marry someone else in 10 years, you will develop similar problems.
Ray said why not just keep your vow and solve them in your first marriage?