GEORGIA (WKRN) – In the most adorable fashion, a World War II veteran surprised his wife of 57 years with flowers and chocolates on their anniversary while she was in the hospital.
ABC News reports James “Jim” Russell surprised his wife Elinor on Wedneday.
“We’ve known each other all our lives. We just never paid attention to each other for some time,” Elinor told ABC News.
“I’ve known her since she was in pigtails,” said Jim.
The couple grew up together in neighboring towns in Georgia, but he didn’t pay attention to her at the time.
Jim went to a military college and upon graduating two years later, he went off to fight in World War II.
A combat pilot who flew 30 missions over Germany, Jim went back to school in Georgia thanks to the GI bill when the war was over.
That’s when his friendship with Elinor rekindled.
On May 20, 1958, Jim and Elinor eloped “on a dark, stormy day,” she said.
Their son Bo told ABC they usually keep their anniversary low key, maybe go out to dinner.
Elinor said that “we always went out and celebrated.” One year they went to Rome and for their 50th anniversary, they went to Hawaii but “we usually stayed close to home,” Elinor said.
As a couple, they joined a dance club and went ballroom dancing every weekend.
And for the past month, Elinor has been hospitalized, so their family wanted to come up with a way to make this year’s anniversary special.
“My kids decided it would be great to do something special for my bride, so I went along with it,” Jim said.
Jim showed up to Elinor’s hospital room wearing a tuxedo he once wore to ballroom dancing, bringing with him a bouquet of flowers and chocolates.
On top of that, Elinor’s two granddaughters did her make up.
The two then had dinner in the hospital room, ABC News reports, and watched their two favorite shows, “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.”
They “had a wonderful time sitting here and talking,” said Elinor.