A U of I professor who studies marriage and relationship trends says one reason for the dip in marriage rates may be that people are waiting longer to get married. He also says more people are living together without being married.
Bill Thompson, who's been married for 72 years, wishes he could still live with his bride.
But time has stolen her memory.
Gerry Thompson suffers from dementia. She no longer talks, she whistles instead. Bill says that's how you know when she feels happy and comfortable.
Every morning, Bill wakes up on one side of the Clark-Lindsey Retirement Village in Urbana, and walks the halls to the other. It's not that far, but the two are world's apart.
Bill still lives in the apartment he and Gerry shared when they moved there. Gerry lives where she can get around-the-clock care.
Their love story started 77 years ago when, as we now know, Bill asked out the wrong person.
So Gerry went. Not long after that, the two got married.
It's something fewer people are doing now.
"I guess I feel they're missing a lot by not being able to enjoy a continual relationship, but of course it has to be a good relationship for it to be pleasant," he says.
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