The Sutton’s first met in 1960, at a family wedding. Roz’s sister was married to Lenny’s brother, and the clan was always getting together.
“I loved her husband and she loved my wife,” explains Lenny, a retired cardiologist with perfect diction and a twinkle in his eye. “I was Uncle Lenny to her sons!”
Roz was widowed after 38 years of marriage to her cherished Bernie; Lenny enjoyed 52 years with his spouse, Harriet.
Neither ever expected to love again.
But Roz was family, so of course Lenny looked her up whenever he visited his sister in Florida.
And when Roz rented an apartment in Providence R.I. (her sister lived there), Lenny offered to show her around, since he was a local.
Before long, waiters in town were asking the couple how long they’d been married.
“People said we were a cute couple, and I always told them it’s because we’re not married,” says Roz, laughing.
Lenny fell in love first.
“She was so warm; every statement she made was just filled with warmth. It wasn’t a put on. I just loved her honesty.”
For him, “The bells rang and the lights went on.”
It was Sept. 3, 2000. The couple had decided to eat in to celebrate Lenny’s birthday; Roz had bought a fruit tart and decorated it with a single candle.
“I was leaning against the kitchen door jamb and I had the tart in my hand and I suddenly said ‘Marry me!’” Lenny relates gleefully.
“That was the first big kiss I got from him,” Roz chimes in. “A kiss on the forehead was all he’d done till then.”
Though Roz was drawn to Lenny’s kindness and thoughtfulness, she wasn’t sure.
“I was afraid; I thought it can’t happen to someone twice,” she says. “How could love be so wonderful the second time?”
Of course Lenny won out; the lovebirds have now been married 11 years. They are constantly talking, they kiss openly (even in public, admits Roz), and hold hands on their morning walk.
“We just keep finding and discovering things about each other,” says Roz, who at 80, is 10 years younger than Lenny.
The couple speaks openly of their first spouses, which brings them both joy.
“It was a different phase of life,” Roz explains. “We were raising families and building businesses. It would be sad to have to cut that out of your life suddenly, like you didn’t exist before the other person came into your life.”
“We recall wonderful moments with each other’s mates,” agrees Lenny. “Unfortunately, some people don’t want to speak of their previous marriage because someone might get jealous or something silly like that.
“We love each other with the same intensity as our first,” he shares. “It’s just a different chapter of your life.” Ú