QUITO – In 1934, Quito was the scene of a love story that was forged over decades until it transcended time and turned its protagonists into the longest-lived married couple in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The expectation in the home of Julio Cesar Mora Tapia, 110, and Waldramina Maclovia Quinteros Reyes, 104, was massive after learning about the world record broken thanks to a shared life.
In total, the age of both adds up to 214 years and more than 358 days, something they never imagined when they met in the Ecuadorian capital more than eight decades ago.
Waldramina was visiting her sister, who lived in the same building as Julio Cesar, who in turn was a cousin of the husband of the now centennial’s sister.
And what happened was love at first sight.
“When Julio Cesar met me, he says that when he saw me, I had arrived with my father, he was looking secretly and that he promised himself that I would be his wife,” Waldramina told EFE in a room of their three-story house from a neighborhood in the north of Quito.
Julio Cesar conquered Waldramina thanks to his literary skills that led him to write poetry for her, as well as being the possessor of a loving spirit that moved the young woman.
She stole the heart of her future husband thanks to the love she showed in each of her actions, her firm character and her unique beauty.
After seven years of courtship, the couple sealed their love by marrying on Feb. 7, 1941 in El Belen church, the oldest in Quito, secretly, as the couple’s families were opposed to their relationship.
To date, they have been married for 79 years and they assure that the passage of time has done nothing but strengthen their relationship, in which great love and mutual respect have become the pillars to remaining together so long.
With a rhythmic speech that reflects the inescapable passing of the years, white complexion and snowy hair like cotton, Waldramina believes that her secret has been patience and respect.
“He loved me a lot and he would fix whatever situation there was in a few hours, explaining why it had happened and then everything was fine,” she said with a lost gaze, like someone searching through their fleeting memories.
That respect is appreciated when recognizing the weaknesses of each one, such as her husband’s, who tired after several interviews and went to rest in a neighboring room.
Despite having dedicated their entire lives to teaching, today both of them enjoy their retirement and the company of each other and family.
Both were parents of five children (one of them, the eldest, died at 58 years of age), all of them professionals, and today they have 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.
The centennial says that her husband taught his children to dance because he loved it.
“He danced very beautifully,” she said, while she watched on.
“I did not conceive lies, but always the truth and that is the path that I want my children to follow, likewise to help anyone who needs it,” Waldramina said.
One of her daughters, Aura Cecilia, told Guinness that the activities her parents enjoy doing the most together are going to the theater, the cinema, and meeting their close friends and relatives.
Another of their hobbies is sowing and growing plants to share the harvest with family and friends.
The marriage of Ecuadorians Julio Cesar and Waldramina Maclovia surpassed the one of Americans Charlotte Henderson and John Henderson, who held the title of the oldest couple in the world at a combined 212 years and 52 days.
The news was “a great surprise” for Waldramina, who like her husband did not even expect it. Of course, they want their children to follow their same path and example.
Despite the changes and difficulties they have had to face due to the pandemic, they continue to fill their lives with encouragement and optimism, and are confident that a solution can soon be found that will allow them to see their families face to face again.