"I wish I could have found a love like it in my life - because it's very honest, it's very true and it really is a beautiful thing," her mother said about the beautiful relationship they share.
When Maryanne and Tommy Pilling wanted to get married, they were the only two people who could understand the deep connection they had while everyone else around them thought that their relationship wouldn't work. The couple dealt with all the hurdles and criticism that came their way and is believed to be the first known couple with Down syndrome to have married in the UK.
Every single day for almost three decades, Maryanne and Tommy have shared love, laughter, and lots of cuddles, living some of their life's best memories by each other's side, as reported by Mirror. Their love story began in 1991 when they met at a day center. They dated each other for about 18 months and Tommy didn't have a doubt in his mind that she was the one. After her mother gave him her blessing, Tommy got a toy ring from a vending machine and proposed to Maryanne. "I was shocked when Tommy proposed but I didn't have to think twice about saying yes," she said, as reported by Independent.
Although they had absolutely no doubt about their feelings, the two still had to deal with everyone around them saying that their marriage was a bad idea. But today, they can see how it was the best thing that could have happened to them. In July 1995 they finally tied the knot. "My wedding was the best day of my life," said Maryanne. She walked down the aisle towards Tommy with her mother beside her on their wedding day, and she ran the last few steps towards him, according to People. And at the end of the ceremony, the newlyweds danced down the aisle right after they took each other as husband and wife.
Their families never thought that they could have a normal family but they ended up being happier than most other couples. "Maryanne had dreamed about a big white wedding since she was a little girl and that's exactly what she had. It was a beautiful day," Maryanne's sister said. And Tommy was equally excited to spend the rest of his life with her. “I was excited. I was going to get married,” he said. “I do love her.”
Overcoming all the hurdles along the way was completely worth the love and care they give each other. "...Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend," Maryanne said.
Linda Newman, Maryanne's mother said, made them as independent as possible. “They lived with me for the first 10 years, when they were first married,” Linda said. “I taught them to cook and to be as self-sufficient as possible. And then the flat came up next door, and we thought it was a wonderful opportunity — a safe move.”
Tommy and Maryanne have their own beautiful life together and have lots of support from family, who live close to them. Initially, her mother kept receiving messages from people who thought their marriage was a bad idea, but she knew that her daughter was madly in love and deserved a chance to have a full life. "For me as a mother, I would have felt I'd failed her if I hadn't acknowledged the fact that she was in love with somebody," she said.
Recently, Tommy started showing early signs of dementia but Maryanne still continues to fill his life with all the love she has for him. "At the moment, we just say that Tommy is getting older and he forgets things, and he needs a bit more care," Linda said last year. "And that is enough for Maryanne to deal with at the moment. We go on a day-to-day basis. So at this moment, baby steps."
After 28 years of love and devotion to each other, Maryanne's face lights up whenever she talks about her husband to others and she still tells him how much she loves him, which is about three times a day.
Linda is forever grateful that she didn't listen to others who tried to talk her out of letting them marry each other, because what they have is something so many others long for. "I wish I could have found a love like it in my life - because it's very honest, it's very true and it really is a beautiful thing," Linda said.
People who have been touched by their relationship even posted on their Facebook page saying, "Their marriage is like a fairytale and they are the most blissfully happy couple that I know. I think most of us could learn a thing or two from them!"