With a total of 198 years between them, this elderly couple from Ireland has the right attitude toward life. In this six-minute video, Seán Máirtín, who is 101 years old, and his wife Caitlín, who is four years his junior, reflect on their marriage and how they coped with coronavirus.
Dressed in Gaelic green and sitting in their carefully cared for garden, the couple share their positive outlook on life. What’s noticeable straight away is the love shared between the two, followed by a big dose of teasing and laughter.
Married in 1952, the couple had five children who all went on to become teachers. Thankfully these loving children have taken turns spending time with their parents while in lockdown. (The Irish lockdown was most severe at the beginning, with the elderly not being allowed to venture beyond their garden gates.
The pair are very philosophical about the situation, expressing how there’s no use worrying about the virus, that you just have to “accept it and hope for the best.
Caitlín also shared how she leans on her “great faith (thank God)” when she does start getting anxious about it: “All I do is start praying, as I have friends up in heaven,” she says with a little laughter.
Yet there is a lot to be learned from the couple’s refreshing vision on marriage and life. With their children being their “joy and their blessing,” the couple are content with the simple things in life. While Caitlín always “looks forward to the good,” Seán reveals that he could spend the whole day caring for his garden and be content when he goes to bed at night.
Their secret to a happy marriage? Other than joking about Seán keeping his mouth shut, the couple highlight the need to “make the most of it, and give and take and tolerate each other because there’s none of us perfect.” While admitting that marriage has its ups and downs, it’s definitely worth the effort, insist the pair. And when you hear Seán describe his wife as a “walking saint” you know they’re on to something!
If you’re needing a little boost, or a reminder that marriage really is a great blessing, then just take a look at these inspiring Máirtíns. Note: There’s a tiny smattering of Gaelic at the beginning when the couple discuss their great ages, if you fancy brushing up on your Irish!
Cerith Gardiner – for Aleteia. Published on 07/24/20 – updated on 02/13/22