Love can take many twists and turns, and for this couple, their love story made them a national treasure, with many media outlets sharing their story. A book, “Howard and Cynthia: A Love Story,” immortalized the couple. She was in her 80s, and he was in his 90s when they married.
Cynthia Riggs-Attebery, now a mystery writer, first met Howard Attebery in 1950. Both were working in the same marine laboratory, and she was 18, while he was 28 years old. Their friendship was a short one, just four months, and they would sometimes write notes to each other on paper towels. After both going their separate ways, all was forgotten—or so Cynthia thought.
Sixty-two years later, out of the blue, Cynthia received some coded messages written on paper towel in the mail.
She soon figured out they had come from her colleague from the past, Howard Attebery. There were plenty of the old coded messages; Howard had kept them for decades, but there was a new one among them. It read, “I have never stopped loving you,” per MailOnline.
The pair began corresponding, and soon a romance blossomed.
They became engaged, and in 2013 they had a Buddhist commitment ceremony, and then later in the year had a formal church ceremony with family and friends.
“You know, love is a great place to spend the rest of your life,” said Howard.
Cynthia & Howie on Martha's Vineyard~They are beautifully settling into their new lives together. Wedding in 2 weeks.
“Life is just amazing. Don’t give up hope. This is not what I expected at all,” said Cynthia.
“Really, how much time do we have? But you know, it really makes that amount of time precious,” she said.
Sadly, after five incredible years together, living at Martha’s Vineyard, Howard passed away on Feb. 1, 2017, as reported by the MV Times.
Cynthia hosted a celebration of his life on the house lawn, a spot where they had spent many memorable times together.
Here's Howie with his Crocodile Dundee (or Harrison Ford?) hat at the Artisans Fair this past Sunday. His photo is by Lynn Christoffers.
Howard’s son Mark was present, and he shed some light on the romantic nature of his dad.
“Several years ago, he was living alone in San Diego, and once when I visited him he showed me a picture of a woman with short white hair, and I can’t remember if it was on a book jacket, but he said to me, ‘This woman could’ve been your mother.’
“It was Cynthia,” he recounted. “He was wistful, and he had to have been carrying that flame for her for a long time.”
We are somehow all tied together by the intangible threads of predestination, and it’s stories like this one that show us all how if it’s meant to be, it shall be.
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