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Live and love in the moment: 59 years after a blind date

right at home“My mother and her uncle set us up for a blind date. They got together and gave Ruth and me each other’s phone number,” said Maxwell Rieff.

The blind date happened on Memorial Day in 1957. “We went to a French restaurant in New York City. and then I walked her home. We walked from 57th Street,” Maxwell recalled. “Sixty-third!” Ruth interrupted. “Oh, we walked from 63rd Street to her house on 8th Street. Her father thought I was a cheapskate! I didn’t pay the taxi. It was romantic!” said Maxwell.

Ruth remembered their first date as “very pleasant… a nice spring evening.” In fact, the blind date went so well that Maxwell and Ruth have been married for 56 years.

The Rieffs bought a house in Harrington Park, New Jersey and their family flourished in the house for the next 46 years. Maxwell and Ruth have two sons and three grandchildren. Ruth remembers fond memories of her boys coming home after graduating from high schools and colleges.

But as Maxwell and Ruth aged, the steps in the house became more and more of a challenge. Eventually they decided to leave their Harrington Park home and move into an apartment building in Fort Lee.

“We were having problems physically, so we decided to come here. There are no steps to climb. This home helps us stay together. Thre facility has a good social club and activities. We see movies three times a week. We go on current-event discussions. These are the reasons we chose this residence. It’s one of the better moves we made,” said Maxwell.

The “newfound” community and social life also introduced them to home care services. “We got a recommendation from our next-door neighbor. She used Right at Home, and so we called Right at Home,” said Maxwell. The Right at Home owners met the Rieffs for an initial assessment and caregivers began the couple’s care service soon after.

Maxwell did not give much thought about hiring a caregiver at first. “But after having it (the care service) three days a week, I felt I needed more,” said Maxwell.

“She (Cristina) does everything. She shops and takes us to doctor’s appointments. She’s excellent. We couldn’t do it without her,” said Ruth. Maxwell remarked that the caregiver makes life very easy. “It’s like living in a hotel,” he said.

The Rieffs will celebrate their anniversary in June this year. When asked about their secrets to a long marriage, Maxwell teased. “Be hard of hearing.” Ruth said it’s about “trust, confidence, and the ability to talk to one another.” “Physical and mental attraction are important too,” added Maxwell.

As for Valentine’s Day, Maxwell said. “We have no plans. We don’t make plans. We live in the moment.”

by Michele Fan on February 11, 2016

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