Marriage is a milestone that many hope to reach. But in truth, some people never find true love. Others settle while the brave rather face life alone than to live a lie.
Nowadays, longevity in matrimony seems almost impossible. Many of us know someone who’s parents are divorced or have parents who are divorced themselves. It doesn’t help that the marriages shoved in our faces everyday via magazines and television, don’t last either.
In reality, a lot of celebrity couples are just fads that don’t go away. Still, it gives people something to aspire to, finding someone to come home to at night. A life partner.
This is what makes the love story between Maryanne and Tommy Pilling so remarkable.
Maryanne and Tommy were both born with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is associated with physical growth delays, intellectual disability, and distinctive facial features. There isn’t a cure but early treatment can help those with the syndrome develop to their full potential.
Maryanne and Tommy were determined to not let their condition affect their ability to live a normal life.
In 2017, the couple celebrated 23 years of marriage.
The two met in 1991 at a day center. 18 months later, Tommy proposed and the two wed in a big, beautiful ceremony.
In fact, they were the first couple with Down Syndrome to ever be married!
Maryanne’s sister, Linda Newman said it was a dream come true for Maryanne:
“Maryanne had dreamed about a big white wedding since she was a little girl and that’s exactly what she had. It was a beautiful day.”
Although Maryanne says she wasn’t expecting the proposal, she had no doubts about who she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
“I was shocked when Tommy proposed but I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes,” she said.
Usually, engagements are met with celebration. However, theirs was met with immense criticism, even from newspapers and magazines.
One article read, “It’ll Never Last” as the headline.
Many thought the two were unfit to be a married couple. Their argument? They had Down Syndrome and wouldn’t be able to take care of each other.
Maryanne and Tommy knew better than anybody that with love, nothing is impossible.
Maryanne’s mother received backlash for allowing her daughter to be with the man that she loved. Still, she insisted it was their decision. They were still adults capable of making their own.
Not much has changed between the two since they said, “I do.”
Maryanne still loves to talk and Tommy is still quiet and reserved. They balance each other out that way.
The couple is very active and love to go out and spend the day doing various activities.
They enjoy bowling, golf, going to the movies, and eating out at restaurants.
They also still have the support of their families. While they live in their own apartment, Maryanne’s mother lives across the street to help with anything they may need.
After 23 years of marriage, the couple says they never fight. Ever.
“Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.”
Since then, the couple has established a Facebook page to show that a couple with Down Syndrome can live normal lives just like anybody else.
The Pillings not only give their community hope by finding love and devoting to it. They’ve taught us all that anything can be achieved with love and dedication.
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