A New Iberia couple, ages 83 and 78, celebrated one of the biggest days of their lives on Sunday.
“I’m kind of flirtatious and I dance with a lot of ladies down there and I said I wonder if she would dance with me. She sat there very quietly and she wouldn’t say a word. I said ‘would you mind dancing with me ma’am,’ and she got up and danced with me. She said ‘you know, if I die now, I’ve accomplished everything and that was it,'” Lionel Uze said.
Lionel Uze an Evangeline “Mickey” Romero share a similar story. Both widowed, and adjusting. What was supposed to be a “short stay” at the Garden View Assisted Living Facility, brought them together.
Melissa Vincent, who serves as the Community Liason, at the center said circumstances made everything possible.
“Mr. Lionel came as a respite stay around June and it was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks, and he ended up staying with us. He loved it here and they ended up moving here with us. Same thing as Mrs. Mickey Evangeline. She came here as a respite stay because her family was going on vacation, and she ended up staying here. She loved it,” Vincent said.
Their love for the facility quickly turned into their love for one another.
Justin Saucier, who is the Executive Director at the facility, said things moved quickly.
“Everyone around the community kind of noticed the connection that they had. Mrs. Evangeline kind of came in and she didn’t want to do much, and then very quickly after he was coming to exercise and coming to events and then they started coming together,” Saucier said.
With love and support of their families and a countdown, a big day was ahead of them.
“Somebody wanted us to wait and we don’t know how much more time we have left to wait. (and so it was just important to go ahead and do it now) do it now, right,” Uze said.
“You got to believe in God. That’s the only thing. Because it’s God that brought us together,” Romero said.
On January 20th, they became Mr. And Mrs. Uze. In a small chapel in the same building, they fell in love. After the wedding, other residents of the facility joined together for their first dance.
“She loves him and I’ve never seen her this happy. I’m 55 years old,” said Romero’s daughter.
“They’re like teenagers in love. If you watch them they’re holding hands and stroking each other’s faces. It’s an amazing thing to see my dad this happy,” said Uze’s son.