A certain photographer and writer Gianna Snell of Gianna Snell Photography spotted this beautiful couple 70-year-old Murphy and 67-year-old Lucinda Myers on an unlikely day and as she captured the adorable couple she never knew their story would go viral.
She just spotted a lovely couple who she thought was camera worthy and just like timing is everything in life, that time seemed to be ordained by God.
Read excerpts of the couple’s story as told by Gianna Snell
The 70-year old man, Cleveland Wilson, affectionately known as “Murphy,” is no stranger to true love. In fact, it was at a nearby Huntsville, AL park, (Braham Springs), some 47 years earlier that he spotted a beautiful woman, Antoinette Snodgrass, whom he had met only once before, riding on a train around the lake. He called out her name, she came over and they spent the whole afternoon and evening talking and laughing. He knew from that moment that she would be his wife and five months later, they were married.
Murphy and his best friend Antoinette were happily married for 41 years until her death in 2013. Anyone who knew or interacted with them and witnessed their uncanny ability to work musically in sync as co-directors of the renowned First Seventh-day Adventist Church Inspirational Choir, she as the pianist and he, the director, knew that they were deeply in love. When she passed away four years ago, he wondered if the ache in his heart would ever heal. He knew he was not cut out to live the bachelor life, but he didn’t want to go through the process of dating again.
“After Antoinette died, I had all kinds of things going on; I was teaching high school classes, directing choirs for various churches, and hanging out with my 4 grandchildren,” he explained, “but there was still an empty space and it couldn’t be filled with more work. My life balance just wasn’t there.”
Murphy did know one thing…If he were ever to fall in love again, God would have to do the choosing. “God picked her the first time I married, He’s going to have to do it again,” was his constant refrain, when people asked would he ever remarry.
After losing Antoinette, it was difficult to attend church, where they had so faithfully served together for all of their 41 years together, so Murphy skipped church for several months. When he returned he didn’t want to sit on the main floor of the sanctuary at First Seventh-day Adventist Church, his home church for 47 years, so he sat in the balcony, where unbeknownst to him, his answer to prayer was sitting too.
But one day, something caught his eye… “It was her hair,” he said. “And then she turned around, and Man…she’s got this smile. She was very attractive…I just couldn’t stop looking at her.”
Lucinda Myers, a florist and baker, moved to Huntsville, AL in July 2013, the same month that Murphy returned to church. Myers is originally from Boston, which coincidentally is also Murphy’s hometown. Having been divorced and single for 30 years, she had been praying and waiting for God to send her a husband. And although the wait was difficult, and she had moments of saying out loud, “God, where is he?“…She kept on praying and doing the things that made her happy, such as cake decorating, babysitting and helping others. She moved to Huntsville for a fresh start.
Each Saturday, Lucinda sat in the balcony on the front row at church while Murphy was one row behind. For over 3 years, they both occupied the same space in church but didn’t have any interaction with each other. Murphy had made it up in his mind that he was not going to talk to anyone because he really wanted God to do the choosing.