A British couple suffering from Down Syndrome recently celebrated their 22nd Wedding Anniversary. The couple, Maryanne Pilling and Tommy Pilling were congratulated by a large number of people on Facebook on the occasion of their 22nd anniversary, according to the Daily Mail.
When the couple got married at St Mary’s Church in Shoeburyness, Essex, in 1995, few people believed that it was going to last and their marriage was widely criticized. However Maryanne and Tommy have proved all naysayers wrong as they celebrated 22 blissful years of their married life on Thursday.
The couple first met in late 1993 and they dated for 18 months before Tommy proposed to Maryanne. Her answer was yes, and the two got married in July 1995. Maryanne was 23 and Tommy was 37 at the time.
Fast forward 22 years. And 45-year old Maryanne Pilling and 59-year old Tommy Pilling still love each other as much as always. Maryanne’s sister, Lindi Newman, has been sharing the couple’s love story on a Facebook page she set up for them. The page has already garnered several thousand followers. Lindi believes that the two were made for each other. She shared the heart melting story of how Maryanne fell in love with Tommy.
“The day Maryanne met Tommy she came home with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn’t stop talking about him and asked if he could come for dinner. They dated for about 18 months and then he approached my mum, Linda, to ask if he could propose.”
Lindi says that Tommy had a toy ring for Maryanne which he had gotten from a vending machine. She says that her mom was ecstatic and immediately said yes to Tommy’s idea and even took him to a jewellery store to get him a proper ring.
“My mum immediately said yes but wanted them to do it properly so took him to a jewellery shop to buy a proper ring. She received a lot of flak at the time for letting them get married but she insisted it was their decision.”
Maryanne’s sister, Lindi, further added that Maryanne had always dreamed of having a big white wedding as a child. She says that in the end she got exactly what she had wanted.
“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.”
Lindi says that her mother received a lot of criticism at the time for letting the couple get married given that they both lived with Down Syndrom. But she insisted that it was their decision to make and went on with the plan anyway. 22 years later, the sweet couple have proved these people wrong.
“When they walk down the street holding hands they make a statement but in a good way. Some people stare, they assume people with Down’s Syndrome and learning difficulties can’t get married.”
Lindi says that the couple also get a lot of lovely and inspiring messages.
“But we also get so many lovely lovely messages from people who are inspired by their story.”
Clearly their condition isn’t stopping them from getting the most out of their lives. In 2015, on the occasion of their 20th anniversary, Tommy and Maryanne renewed their wedding vows. Lindi explained why they felt the need to renew their vows:
“They renewed their vows because they had so much trouble from people around them who said it was terrible they were going to get married and asked our mum Linda what she thought she was doing by allowing the wedding to go ahead. This is a big milestone for any couple let alone them. They wanted to show how wrong those people were. They’ve been so happy together.”
[Featured Image by Maryanne and Tommy/Facebook]