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48 Years After Divorce, Couple Is Giving Marriage Another Shot

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 2, 2012

As Lena Henderson says, she hadn’t been expecting to remarry Roland Davis some 48 years after their divorce, but “you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

All Things Considered today tells the touching story of how the two 85-year-olds are set to tie the knot again on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.

Davis and Henderson first married in 1944. After having four children, they split 20 years later. Each of them remarried in subsequent years. Each of them lost their later spouses. Davis’ wife died earlier this year. Then, as the Buffalo News reported earlier this week, it was at the suggestion of a daughter (from his first marriage, to Henderson), that he decided to move to the Buffalo area to be near the rest of the family.

The two had stayed in touch over the years and as the prospect of relocating to Western New York started to become real, their conversations “turned to something much more serious,” as the News reports:

“We were talking on the phone one day and he said, ‘Will you marry me again?’ Henderson recalled. “”I said ‘well, well … yes.’ “

Davis tells the News that “I always thought it might happen. … It was always in the back of my mind.”

One of the couple’s sons died in 1996. The now adult “kids” who survive seem thrilled by their parents’ reunion. Daughter Renita Shadwick tells All Things Considered that:

“I see the way that he comes along beside her and wants to help her as she walks inside a building or the way he scoots around her to open a door. I look at the way my mother smiles at him when he’s talking about something. Those are the moments I pray that all children are looking at when they are looking at their parents loving one another.”

They will tie the knot again Saturday at Buffalo’s Elim Christian Fellowship Church. Unlike the first time around, when a justice of the peace did the officiating, the groom had to go to work the next day as a bellhop and there was no time for a celebration, this second wedding has been “blown into great proportions” compared to 1944, Henderson says. In attendance and taking part in the ceremony: Four generations of family, including more than 20 grandchildren and a growing number of greatgrandchildren.

More from All Things Considered’s conversations with Henderson and her daughter is due on today’s broadcast. We’ll add the as-aired audio to the top of this post later today. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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