Lessons on love from local sweethearts (GALLERY)

sweethearts valentine's day
Special to the Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM.

NORTHWEST FLORIDA DAILY NEWS EDITOR'S NOTE: On this Valentine’s Day we bring you the stories of four pairs of “sweethearts” whose love has stood the test of time and trials. We hope you are as touched by their stories as we were.

See photos of the sweethearts we interviewed for this story.

True love

In their 57 years together, Martha and Charles Gafford have shared three kids, eight grandchildren and one mule.

Now they’re sharing what Charles considers to be the saddest disease of all. In 2004, Martha was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

In 2010, he put her in Fort Walton Beach Rehabilitation Center, right up the street from the home they shared.

“I’ve always been a fairly strong person,” he says. “I could stand tragedy good. But I’ve shed a lot of tears over my wife’s (Alzheimer’s).”

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