Real version of "Loving the notebook: British elderly couple moving love
Posted Mar 11 2013 2:25am
A devoted husband is keeping his wife's fading memory alive by reading from the diary he has kept for more than 70 years of their marriage.
Jack Potter, 91, visits Phyllis, 93, who suffers from dementia, every day at her care home and shows her photographs and recalls fond memories of their courting days and holidays.
The couple's love story is reminiscent of the romantic drama The Notebook.
In the 2004 film, the character Noah, played by James Garner, tells his wife Allie, played by Gena Rowlands, the tale of how they met, were separated and reunited.
Allie, a dementia sufferer, is gripped by the tale - told in flashback with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as their younger selves - and has a brief lucid moment where she realises the story is about her and her husband.
The character wrote the story down herself and instructed Noah to read it to her so she would 'come back' to him.
In real life, Mr Potter first met Phyllis at a wartime dance - and instantly fell in love. The couple married 16 months later and Mr Potter kept on recording their lives together, carrying on the habit he began as a boy.
Last weekend the Potters celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at the care home in Rochester, Kent, and received a card from the Queen.
Mr Potter still jots down little things to tell his wife when he visits her. He said: 'I remember it like it was yesterday the first time I met her - she came up to me and asked me to dance.
'She was an excellent dance partner and an older woman - I thought she was wonderful and I still do. It was definitely love at first sight, everything fell into place. It was uncanny really.'
Mr Potter said: 'We've been together ever since, I wrote down in my diaries all of our stories and our in-jokes. We have been together forever, we had no children it was just us two.
'Phyllis struggles to speak and I will often read to her and chat to her but she struggles to respond. I often take the diaries of our time caravanning and show her the pictures, she enjoys that.
'Whenever I turn up to see her she stretches her arms out to hug me - she is very affectionate - despite being so unwell.