A 60+ Year Love Affair

The following is a letter from Jeannette Sanlley who recently married her childhood sweetheart at our Gainesville facility – some 60 years later after they originally met.

The event was celebrated via Skype with both the bride’s and the groom’s families in the Dominican Republic.

The story is an uplifting one of both hope and love.


Virtual Weddings are a blessing from the Lord God, Our Father,  and Jesus Christ our Saviour, whose generotisy took my husband and I to Signature Healthcare of Gainesville.  God has been so good to us that He truthfully placed us where many angels could guide our path.  Through His Holy Spirit God gave us Faith, Hope, and Charity.

My husband, Rafael, and I found in signature Healthcare a wonderful loving family.  We were longtime young sweethearts and next door neighbiors in the Dominican Republic since our teenage days in the mid 50s.  We have memorable happenings in this beautiful and  sunny caribbean island where we were born.

Rafael and I parted after a beautiful three years deep love affair that remained in our hearts forever.  We each drifted apart and formed our lives without each other, and also married the wrong persons.  Rafael did not have any children, while I had three wonderful kids from my first marriage. I lived 14 years in Canada while Rafael searched for his lost love until years later he found me, but it was too late. Our lives continued appart from each other with only an impossible dream hoping that some day it would come true.  Rafael’s greatest plead to God  was that some day he could marry his teenage sweetheart.  After 40 years he found me through the internet and since he became a widower and I was alone we decided to meet each other for the last time, fell in love again and decided to reunite.

Rafael became ill and had to have a laryngectomy due to cancer.  I stood by his side immediately all the way to be with him straight from the Dominican Republic where I was living, to the United States in Shands cancer hospital.  After the operation, Rafael was sent for recovery to Signature Healthcare of Gainseville where I am at this moment, still living with him while he recovers.

I do not have sufficient words to express our gratitude to these wonderful people who I call our angels.  They have given us excellent care and love, and made our impossible dreams come true.  Thanks be to God.

A Virtual Wedding Celebration was made for Rafael and I, which was seen and enjoyed live through SKYPE by our families in the Dominican Republic.  These angels gave us the happiest day of our lives where Rafael 76 and I, Jeannette, 72, finally fulfilled a lifetime dream on October 14, 2011.

I do not mention any names because I would have to write down an inmense list of wonderful people who went our of their waty to make things possible and make us happy.  All we can say is  THANK YOU to all the staff of Signature Healthcare of Gainseville, from the bottom of our hearts, for contributing to make our marriage memorable, and so that we may spend whatever time God may give us, finally,  as husband and wife, in holiness with joy and love until death do us part.

May God bless you all forever,

Mr. and Mrs. Rafael Cott M.D.

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