In this day and age, it seems it is more challenging to accomplish a happy ever after as more people are getting divorced instead of working on their marriage.
Maryanne and Tommy Pilling are a unique couple that has proved the skeptics wrong. They understand true love. They never argue and are best friends.
It’s believed that people with Down Syndrome cannot take care of themselves, never mind stay in a marriage together for over 20 years.
In 1990 they first met in the kitchen at the local training center for people with disabilities. It was definitely fate that brought the two of them together. They both share a passion for cooking.
In 1992 the couple got engaged. Tommy unable to afford an expensive ring and wanted to get engaged with a plastic ring from a vending machine. When Linda (Maryanne’s mum) found out about his plan, she helped him purchase a ring. Maryanne literally “jumped with joy”.
In 1995 they got married with the blessing of Maryanne’s mum Linda. Maryanne always dreamed of a white wedding, and that’s exactly what she got. It was a beautiful wedding.
After the wedding, Tommy moved into Maryanne’s family home with her family.
Fifteen years ago they moved into their own flat next door to Maryanne’s mum where they live independently. They do however receive daily help and care from Linda Martin, her mum, and Lindi Newman, her sister.
The couple makes a definite statement while walking down the street, holding hands.
Maryanne was born on 17th May 1971, and Tommy on the 21st March 1958 (on World Down Syndrome Day!) gives hope to people with Down Syndrome children.
Sadly Tommy passed away. Maryanne is not coping very well and is having dreams at night that are confusing to her. She says that Tommy comes to visit her and hugs her. Maryanne talks to him and sings to him when she is alone.
To Maryanne and your family, we at ‘The Open Mind’ are truly sorry for your loss. Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow, and we would like to offer you and the family our sincerest condolences. May Tommy RIP. <3
Permission to publish photos by Maryanne and Tommy. You can follow them on their Facebook page.