Couple gets second chance at love 70 years after losing touch

Bob Albright and Martha Joy Brindle married after spending decades apart.
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When Frank Sinatra crooned the words, "Love is lovelier the second time around," he could have been singing about 90-year-old Bob Albright and 86-year-old Martha Joy Brindle.

"Well, after all of these years, this is a wedding you ain't gonna forget," said Bob as he sat holding Joy's hand outside the Marion County clerk's office.

"What's that," asked Joy, leaning in to Bob so she could hear what he was saying.

"It's a wedding you're not gonna forget," Bob said louder, so she could hear him better.

Theirs is a love story, almost 70 years in the making.

"We are gathered here today to exchange the mutual wedding vows of Robert Albright and Martha Joy Brindle," said Marion County Clerk Beth White as Joy stood before her dressed in ivory lace, Bob holding her hands, beaming in his navy suit. "Your story today is one of inspiration of many many years of waiting of and different paths to come to today.

"Love will wait patiently as the scriptures say and love will conquer all," she added.

In Bob and Joy's case, their wait included a world war.

"You never forget your first love," said Bob, looking at Joy.

Bob certainly never did. He and Joy were sweethearts before World War II. They met working at the same pharmacy at Rural and Michigan.

"14 cents an hour they were paying her," laughed Bob.

When World War II broke out, the Army sent Bob to the South Pacific.

"She was the only one who was writing to me in Okinawa when I was in combat," Bob explained.

"In those days, we wrote letters because calling was too expensive," Joy said.

After the war ended though, the two lost touch.

"We just went separate ways and everything and raised separate families," said Bob. "But I never forgot her. She was always a memory."

All that changed when Kara Reibel wrote an article about Bob's service to his country for a community magazine.

"He shared with me that he wondered where Joy was and he didn't know where to find her and I found her," Reibel explained. "I gave Bob her phone number and address. I just said, 'Here. I found her and you do the rest.'"

When Joy's phone rang last May, she never expected to hear what she heard.

"I 'bout fell over. He said, 'This is Bob Albright, don't hang up.' And I said, 'Why would I hang up.'" recalled Joy.

Less than a month later, Bob popped the question. At 90 years old, though, there was no getting on one knee.

"If I got down on one knee, I'd still be there," said Bob, laughing.

Still, a year later, before friends and some of their family, Bob and Joy became man and wife.

"I Robert Albright. Take you Martha Joy Brindle, to be my wife. And I commit my life to you, from this day forward," said Bob, who had a difficult time getting through his vows without crying.

"It feels like a miracle that we would find each other at this late date," said Joy. "And like my son says, 'You still have most of your marbles.'"

Now Bob and Joy have wedding rings, too.

"This is it. We're going to have fun, however much time we have left, that's it," added Bob.

"By the power vested in me, by the state of Indiana, I declare that you are husband and wife. Those I have joined together today, let no one ever separate. And you may kiss your bride," White told the happy couple.

"One of these days, we'll start growing old," Bob told Joy.

For this happy couple, though, reunited after 70 years apart, today is not that day.