We live in a society where divorce, separation and child custody disputes are so common that people are no longer surprised when they hear about it. Many have lost sight of what a long lasting relationship means and how much work it takes to maintain. It takes beautiful stories like the one of Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina for us to stop and remember what love and marriage can truly be.
The Fisher’s tied the knot on May 13, 1924 and have 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
In 2011, Herbert passed away at 105, and a few years later in 2013, Zelmyra followed at 105 years old as well. When Herbert passed, the couple had been married for 87 years. Before their death, they were interviewed about their secrets to everlasting love…and their answers are astoundingly simple.
1. What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?
H & Z: With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER an option – or even a thought.
2. How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?
H & Z: We grew up together & were best friends before we married. A friend is for life – our marriage has lasted a lifetime.
3. Is there anything you would do differently after more than 80 years of marriage?
H & Z: We wouldn’t change a thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other & our family.
4. What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?
Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith – when you meet him, you’ll know.
5. What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?
H & Z: Respect, support & communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest & true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.
6. What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?
Zelmyra: A hard worker & good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted & provided the best for us. I married a good man!
7. What is your best Valentine’s Day memory?
Zelmyra: I cook dinner EVERY day. Herbert left work early & surprised me – he cooked dinner for me! He is a VERY good cook!
Herbert: I said that I was going to cook dinner for her & she could relax – the look on her face & clean plate made my day!
8. You got married very young – how did u both manage to grow as individuals yet not grow apart as a couple?
H & Z: Everyone who plants a seed & harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together.
9. What is your fondest memory of your 85-year marriage?
H & Z: Our legacy: 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
10. Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?
H & Z: The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs – together.
11. How did you cope when you had to be physically separated for long periods of time?
Herbert: We were apart for 2 months when Z was hospitalized with our 5th child. It was the most difficult time of my life. Zelmyra’s mother helped me with the house and the other children, otherwise I would have lost my mind.
12. At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?
H & Z: Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.
13. Is fighting important?
H & Z: NEVER physically! Agree that it’s okay to disagree, & fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break!
14. What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?
H & Z: We are both Christians & believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with & for each other every day.