After nearly six decades of marriage, a Texas couple left this world in a way befitting of their unwavering love for one another. George and Ora Lee Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas, both 78, had just celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary in June.
They both suffered from dementia and just a few months ago, George had a stroke. On the evening of July 5th, George died sleeping in his hospital bed at home with his wife in a hospital bed right next to him. Just over three hours later, Ora Lee also died.
“They were holding hands,” their daughter Corina Martinez told News Channel 4 San Antonio. “I just can’t believe something like this would ever happen, you hear this on the movies ... like ‘The Notebook’.”
The film, based on the Nicholas Sparks book of the same name, is the story of a couple dealing with the wife’s dementia. The two ultimately pass away beside one another in bed, as they hold hands.
The Rodriguez couple’s children say their parents always joked that they wouldn’t leave the world without one another.
“He goes, ‘I’m gonna go with you,’ he always said that. So, I guess he took her,” the couple’s daughter Georgia Perez said.
It’s not uncommon to hear of longtime partners dying so close to one another. Last year NFL player Doug Flutie’s parents died within an hour of each other. “They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it,” Flutie said.
The phenomenon has been dubbed the “widowhood effect” by one study.