This article was originally published in 2017.
It's hard to find a love story as incredible as the one of Tom and Delma Ledbetter. In May 2017, the Lake Jackson, Texas couple held hands as they passed away in a hospice, just over one hour apart. The Ledbetter's granddaughter, Stephanie, snapped a folder of the two during their final hours together. That heartbreaking photo has quickly spread across the internet, drawing comparisons to the hit book and film The Notebook.
But the Ledbetter's story was no work of fiction. One of the couple's daughters told Click2Houston that they first got together after meeting through a mutual friend. They married just three weeks later.
62 years later, the couple were still inseparable. In April, Delma's health began to fail and she was admitted to the nursing home. Just a few days later, Tom fell ill too.
"We got him over to the nursing home with Mama," Donetta said. "They had pushed their little beds together and Mama was laying right there, facing him. She was asleep and Daddy goes and he reached over there and he grabbed ahold of her hand and he just laid there with her, and it was so sweet."
On April 21, the couple passed away, hand in hand, just an hour and a half apart.
"It was exactly how they wanted to go," Nichols explained. "It couldn't have been any better."
Tom and Delma were laid to rest side by side at Restwood Memorial Park in Clute, Texas.