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High School Sweethearts Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary - Little Did They Know, They Would Be In Tears After Their Date
Couple With Months Left Together Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary With Shocking Surprise
Uplifting News

High School Sweethearts Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary - Little Did They Know, They Would Be In Tears After Their Date

Restaurant decides to do something special after hearing this couples life story.

Finding someone to spend your life with is a special thing. That’s why we should celebrate all anniversaries: they remind us how lucky we are to have love and all of the things we’ve worked through in order to still be with our person.

Paul and Dawn Molineux recognize that. That's why, when they learned Paul only had months to live, they decided to make the most out of the rest of their time together. That included celebrating their 50th anniversary a little early.

A Chance Meeting Early On

a man and woman cutting a cake

Paul and Dawn were high school sweethearts, reports The Mirror UK. He was only 16 years old when his friend asked him to join him and his girlfriend on a date. Not wanting to feel awkward, he asked if the girl could bring along a friend. She brought Dawn.

The pair hit it off right away and started dating. They never looked back. Two years later they married, and they went on to work together for most of their lives, too. They had three children and two grandchildren, making a life full of memories.

“She's just such a caring person. She'll do anything for anybody. So thoughtful and just doesn't expect anything in return. She's always thinking of others and not herself,” Paul said of his wife.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul received some bad news. He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Following a successful surgery, he was cleared. But in early January, he received some more bad news: the cancer had spread to his stomach.

Unfortunately, there was nothing the doctors could do. With chemo, they said he could live for up to 18 more months. Otherwise, he had maybe six more months left. Paul chose to do chemo, and he and Dawn decided they were going to make the most out of all the time they had left together.

Celebrating 50 Years Together

young couple hugging each other

With no time to lose, Dawn and Paul began a new motto: “Live life to the full, and make the best.” They decided to try and keep the situation as light as possible and to make jokes about it when they could as a way to cope.

“He's an amazing guy,” Dawn said. “He's definitely my childhood sweetheart. I actually don't know how I will cope when I lose him, but we are making fantastic memories for as long as we can.”

“Live life to the full, and make the best.”

Paul Molineux

A few weeks ahead of their 50th wedding anniversary in August 2023, the couple decided to enjoy a nice night out to celebrate just the two of them. They headed over to Hickory’s Smokehouse restaurant in Southport, in the UK, where they were happily surprised by a “Happy Anniversary” sign.

That wasn’t the night’s only highlight though.

A Kind Gesture

The couple’s server that night was Deputy General Manager James Davies, and he was curious about the couple’s story. After all, not many couples in their late sixties can say they’ve been married for 50 years. He asked how they met, and eventually, he found out about Paul’s terminal diagnosis.

When the bill came, Paul and Dawn were shocked. Their £80 bill (roughly $100 US) had been comped. “Happy anniversary! The bill is on us x,” someone wrote.

“My wife was just in tears when she saw the gesture. We just couldn't believe it,” Paul said.

In a Facebook review on a local restaurant page, Paul later wrote about the experience he and Dawn had had at the restaurant. “We were spoken to by many of the staff, even the boss, but our main server was James, and what a valued member of staff he must be to Hickory's,” Paul wrote.

“Just couldn't do enough for us. A wonderful meal and we even had a dessert which was fantastic. Thank you, Hickory's, for making our night so wonderful. 12/10.”

Going Viral

Paul also shared several photos of the night, and he and Dawn explained how James is now a friend for life — he even came to their big anniversary bash later that month.

Jeff Cavanagh, who runs the Facebook group, asked the couple if he could share what the restaurant did for them. Once he shared it, the post went viral.

"Many of you have probably seen the Hickory's review with the amazing couple that are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Sadly Paul is bravely battling the big C, so every day and every anniversary is to be celebrated to the full,” he wrote.

“I just want to say to James Davies and all the amazing Hickory's staff this act of kindness definitely doesn't go unnoticed. You guys are truly fantastic.”

Making the Most of Every Minute

While this may be a story about a kind server doing what he could to make a couple’s anniversary feel normal and special, it’s also touching to see how Paul and Dawn continue to see the bright side and just make the most of life.

It’s such a nice reminder to all of us that no one really knows how much time we have, but by trying to keep a positive mindset and doing the things we love with the people we love, we will live life to the fullest.

So maybe it’s time to take that trip, or start that business, or write that book. Whatever it is you keep putting off until tomorrow, remember that tomorrow is never promised.

Make time for the things that matter and the people that you love. That’s one thing you’ll never regret.

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