Monday, September 21, 2009

84 Years Of Togetherness - Respect At The Human Level





(Hat tip to BlackConsciousThough blog)

Married 84 years, and still loving

A man and a women could not spend one evening together, let alone 84 years of their life absent a baseline of respect for one another and a set of values upon which both of them operate upon.

They likely received these values from people who impressed these upon them. From their relationship they have no doubt imprinted the same upon many others.

Article

A Craven County couple are in the Guinness World Records book.

The two did nothing outlandish such as sky-diving upside down, dancing for days, taking the longest lawn mower ride or having the most tattoos.

No, Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of the Brownsville community have been married for more than 84 years. That is a feat in itself.

They have the world record of the longest marriage for a living couple.

They can thank their granddaughter Iris Godette for getting the recognition. She submitted the information to the Guinness Book of Records..

The information was apparently checked by Guinness and a certificate was given to the couple.

However, when you ask Herbert about the Guinness recognition, he just says, "Oh, Yeah?" The recognition has not changed their life.

He still looks at her with love and concern, as she looks toward him as if he will give her strength and guidance.

They have lived for more than 50 years in a house near the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport. They lived in James City before that but the land was purchased for apartments and the two moved.

Herbert was born June 10, 1905. His hearing is going but his mind is sharp. Zelmyra was born Dec. 10, 1907. She uses a walker to get around the house and yard. The two of them can still give their reasons for marrying on May 13, 1924.

"He was not mean; he was not a fighter," Zelmrya said. "He was quiet and kind. He was not much to look at but he was sweet."

Herbert said Zelmyra never gave him any trouble. "No, no trouble at all. We never argued, but we might have disagreed," he said.

Norma Godette, one of the couple's five children. said her parents have gotten along well through the years.

"One time, mama wanted to work. Daddy told her she could not work, that he could take care of the family. She slipped down to Cherry Point and got a job as a caretaker there," Godette said.

"Well, it was done; she got the job. I had to let it be," Herbert said.

Different religions did not tear the two apart. He is a member of Pilgrim Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. She is a member of Jones Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The churches are in James City, where they both grew up. For all of their married life they have attended their own churches. They go their own ways on Sunday morning.She reads the Bible daily.

The two watch television together. "We separate when the baseball comes on," Zelmyra said.

Herbert loves baseball, especially the Atlanta Braves. He also enjoys golf, because one of his son-in-laws plays the game.

They have no secret or sage advice as to why their marriage has lasted so long.

"I didn't know I would be married this long," Herbert said. "But I lived a nice holy life and go to church every Sunday.

"Yes sir, anything for her."

Zelmyra said Herbert was the only boyfriend she ever had. "We got along good," she said. "There was no trouble."

She said she is not tired of seeing him. "I didn't think I'd be married this long. He is quiet," she said.

Zelmyra said her husband had no annoying habits. They both said they shared the title of "boss."

The two sit on the porch and as a train goes by they count the cars. They also watch the neighbors who walk by.

"They were excellent parents," said Norma Godette. "We were poor, but we didn't do without a thing. If he had two cents he saved one cent."Herbert worked as a mechanic at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in New Bern for 35 years.

He took a bicycle, caught a cab or had a neighbor drive him to work.

That hard work and savings put all five of the children through college.

Inside the house are plaques, letters of recognition, and awards that both the Fishers and their children received for accomplishments in civic duties and church.

The house where they raised their children has two sitting rooms and three bedrooms. Now that the children are grown, the Fishers enjoy having a bedroom for each. Herbert Fisher can stay up until the last ball is thrown in the ballgame he is watching. And he does.

Herbert makes his bed each day and sweeps his floor.

He also checks on his wife as she rests.

Between the rests, they enjoy their children, ten grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Both say that if they had it to do over, they would not change their life

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