"...to show us on our first day of marriage that true love can last forever" and Nicholas Sparks went on to tell the world the greatest message that he saw through the couple.
“I want all of you, forever, you and me, everyday." — Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
It was a movie that touched people for showing how true love will never dim, never fade away, and never let two people stop cherishing each other through the good and the bad. More than 20 years after Nicholas Sparks told the story of Noah and Allie through his novel, The Notebook, people are still moved by the love they had for each other. But while some may think that it's the kind of love that doesn't go beyond the pages of a book or the reel of a movie, the truth is that their story is actually based on a real couple that Nicholas Sparks knew personally. And it's all the more reason to believe that a love like this truly does exist.
"The Notebook was inspired by my wife’s grandparents, two wonderful people who spent over 60 years together," the author wrote on nicholassparks.com. "My wife was very fond of these two people... and she was one of those people who loved to visit on the weekends, growing up."
Two of the people that his wife was looking most forward to having at their wedding was her grandparents. But because of poor health, they weren't able to make it. It was extremely tough for his wife to stand at the beginning of the aisle before walking down, knowing that her grandparents weren't there to see her say "I do".
"...she did her best to put it out of her mind. I guess it finally struck home for her when she was standing in the back of the church and getting ready to walk down the aisle. In the back of the church was a small table and on the table was a box that had been brought by the florist," Nicholas Sparks explained. "It contained the corsages and boutonnieres for the wedding party and our parents, but as she was standing there, she couldn’t help but notice there were two flowers left untouched—those that had been meant for the grandparents."
There wasn't anything that they could do about it, and so they went through the wedding and the reception as planned. But his wife wasn't ready to live with knowing that she couldn't share her wedding joy with her grandparents.
He went on to say, "When I woke the next morning, my wife rolled over and met my eyes, looking just about as beautiful as I’d ever seen a woman look.
'Do you love me?' she asked.
'Of course I do,' I whispered, wondering why she asked.
'Well good,' she said, clapping her hands and speaking in an authoritarian tone. 'Then you’re going do something for me.'
'Yes ma’am,' I said.
His wife made him jump back into his wedding tuxedo while she put her wedding dress on. They went all the way to her grandparents' place with some wedding cake, a video that her brother shot from the wedding day, and those two flowers that were left at the bottom of the box.
"They had no idea we’d be coming and were excited to see us," the author wrote. "My grandfather-in-law slipped into his jacket and put on the boutonniere and we took photographs with them; we went inside and watched the video as we ate a slice of cake, and it was then they told us the story of how they met and fell in love, parts of which eventually made their way into The Notebook."
While his wife's grandparents may or may not have given them a wedding gift that day, what they unknowingly gave Nicholas Sparks was the message of how deep love can run in a relationship and keep two people together. No matter how many years or decades pass, it will never change. And he didn't keep that message to himself, but he told it to the whole world through The Notebook and went on to inspire people everywhere to find their own Noah and Allie.
Not only did they get to share their wedding celebration with her grandparents, but that day, Nicholas Sparks saw something in the couple that showed the adoration they had after so many years. "The way his eyes shined when he looked at her, the way he held her hand, the way he got her tea and took care of her," he wrote. "I remember watching them together and thinking to myself that after sixty years of marriage, these two people were treating each other exactly the same as my wife and I were treating each other after twelve hours."
Nicholas Sparks ended his post by saying, "What a wonderful gift they’d given us, I thought, to show us on our first day of marriage that true love can last forever."