One day devoted to romance is simply not enough for some couples whose love and devotion has spanned decades.
Luigi Roncagliolo calls it his lucky day when his wife, Angie, said yes to his Valentine's Day marriage proposal in the cafeteria of the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, where they both worked.
"If you give me your love, I will move the world for you," Angie recalls him saying. Three months later, they were married and the romance hasn't stopped.
Now, almost 33 years later, the Roncagliolos never forget to leave each other with a kiss, even if it's just to go to the store or part each other's company for a few hours. The kiss, said Luigi, "keeps positive energy in your system."
A second marriage for both, the Roncagliolo's have raised their five children and have one four-year-old grandson. She was born in El Salvador and came to the United State when she was 11 and he was born in Lima, Peru and came to the states when he was 22. They both retired from the Federal Reserve Bank.
There is really no secret to their enduring romance. Angie, 70, says he sings to her every morning, and Luigi, 72, says they communicate, don't argue, but work things out before they go to bed. The fact that he has a passion for cooking his Peruvian dishes and keeping things clean and orderly at home is welcomed by Angie, who ends up with more time to volunteer and work at the senior center.
Ironically Nancy and Jim Koos weren't even aware of the significance of the Feb. 14 date when they exchanged marriage vows 54 years ago in Jakarta, Indonesia. Although engaged to be married, they had not set a date. Nancy's younger sister was going to be married that day, but it is customary for the eldest daughter to be married first, so they joined the plans and had a double wedding.
The Koos first set eyes on each other in 1954 at a Catholic Student Organization sorority/fraternity event when she was an incoming college freshman and he was a sophomore in Indonesia.
Nancy recalled, "He was so sweet to me and extremely kind to me." They married in Indonesia in 1960, moved to Hong Kong, where they both taught at a Catholic boys school, moved to New Jersey, Las Vegas and finally to Danville in June 2011 after careers in teaching mathematics (Jim) and teaching and real estate (Nancy).
Nancy, 79, keeps extremely active at the San Ramon Senior Center, where she takes kickboxing, aerobics, line dancing and more five days a week. Their romance that has spanned continents and more than a half-century continues. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease three years ago, Jim, 81, accompanies Nancy to the center three days a week for exercise classes, lunch and to sing with the center's Silver Tones Chorus.
Lovingly patting his hand as he sits nearby in his wheelchair, Nancy said, "After a while it is a lot deeper than just romance. It's adjusting to each other and loving in a deeper way."
She recalls many romantic moments throughout their marriage of more than a half century, including a 1968 vacation. Leaving their two young sons with Nancy's parents who were living in Holland at the time, Nancy and Jim traveled to Germany. Sitting in a park in Cologne, Nancy recalls Jim softly playing a harmonica he had just bought while she dozed with her head in his lap.
Angie and Luigi say every day together is a gift, and they are just enjoying traveling and their children and excursions to San Francisco's Fisherman's wharf for dinner. Angie is a staff member at the senior center, and Luigi is often seen cooking for the pancake breakfasts and helping out.
Luigi loves that Angie "prays a lot and is very religious, is kind to people and always worries about people." What he loves best is that "she treats me nice and respects me," he added.
"I love the way he takes care of me," said Angie, and "how he treats my kids and grandson. I love the way he has made my dreams come true. He's a very loving man."
Nancy says she always tries to pamper her husband, which is a Chinese custom, but something she likes to do for Jim and admits, "He's a little more spoiled than he should be." Being "very amorous" is also the key to a lasting marriage, she added.
In turn, Jim enjoyed surprising Nancy with gifts, the perfect dress in every color, and even a trip to the Caribbean.
If there is a secret to lasting romance, said Nancy, "it's give and take and being willing to sacrifice and always remembering your marriage vows. In good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse -- always keep that in mind. It's a lifetime commitment until death do us part."
Contact Monica Lander at firstname.lastname@example.org.