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Larry Bushnell and Columba Rosaly, Elderly Couple, To Marry Despite Language Barrier


Love is often referred to as a universal language, and no truer was that sentiment than today, when sources reported two retirement home sweethearts from North Carolina are set to be married this weekend despite speaking different languages.

Larry Bushnell, 85, and Columba Rosaly, 97, are scheduled to be married Saturday before 30 friends, the Charlotte Observer reports.

The couple began dating less than a year ago after living together for some time at Sharon Village retirement community in east Charlotte, N.C.

Bushnell, a Wisconsin native whose wife died over a year ago, took a liking to Rosaly but didn't know how to approach her after learning she only spoke Spanish. Rosaly, 97, grew up in Ecuador and was married for many years until her husband passed away in 2002.

But Bushnell had a plan: With the help of an online translator, he wrote notes explaining everything he loved about Rosaly -- from her brown curls and earrings, to the way she paid attention to details -- and passed them to her in the lunchroom.

It didn't take long before Rosaly was won over, and the two began taking lessons in each other's language.

"I've never felt so happy. I love to eat his nose with kisses," Rosaly told the Charlotte Observer, adding that she believes God brought them together late in life so they could take care of each other.

The couple's story is one of many in recent months about people finding love later in life.

Earlier today, the Patriot Ledger reported on a couple from Weymouth, Mass., who married 64 years after going their separate ways following an ill-fated engagement to each other when they were young.

Margaret MacNeil, 82, and Eric Ericson, 86, reunited with each other at a cemetery when they were both visiting their family's graves. Both of their spouses had passed away.

When the pair married in 2010, Ericson gave her the same ring he had offered 64 years ago.

"I always had that love for Margaret, but it was completely suppressed," Ericson told the Legder. "I never approached her in any way, shape or form. But it always was there."

Studies have shown that an increasing number of seniors are dating and living together, according to the Seattle Times.

According to census numbers, the number of unmarried seniors cohabiting with each other increased 50 percent from 2000 to 2006, and many more are cohabiting part-time.

Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington, told the paper that changing attitudes about seniors and romance have played a large part in the figures.

"Falling in love at an elderly age was seen as somewhere between unwise and dementia," Schwartz told the Times. But now, Schwartz said, "People who wouldn't have let their daughters into the house if they were cohabiting are now doing the same thing."

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