Their Story Will Take Your Breath Away

The Dunphy’s win our greatest love story contest!

By Debra Mowbray

“Life is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Number of Moments That Take our Breath Away.” (unknown author). This quote, a favorite of Rose Dunphy, is stenciled across the bulkhead of their living room. For Rose, it epitomizes her outlook on life and perhaps provides an insight into the success of a marriage that has lasted 36 years and counting.

“I met Tom when I was 11 years old and told him he was the man I was going to marry,” said Rose. “Of course this did not set well with a mature guy of 13,” she laughed. But Rose was determined to make her presence known until Tom finally gave in and ask her to “go steady”. Forty some years later they are still going strong.

Rose and Tom Dunphy entered and won our Greatest Love Story Contest. “We have raised two beautiful children and are now enjoying the time that we call “phase two”. We have weathered the ups and downs that life has to offer but know that we are here to stay,” wrote Rose in the winning essay.

The connection between Rose and Tom Dunphy is enviable. They know one another so well they are able to complete each other’s sentences, being careful to wait for the other to finish their thoughts before interrupting. “The song, “You’re still the one” by the band Orleans, is our song,” says Tom. The words from the Celine Dion song: “I am everything because you love me”, are stenciled in their bedroom. Both reminders of the commitment they have made to each other.

We live in a country where the divorce rate hovers around 50 percent, depending on the survey you read. Among the culprits cited are: Face Book, internet dating, the economy, declining spirituality, etc…When asked what they thought the factors to a successful marriage were against so many odds, Rose and Tom didn’t mention any of the above. “Not being selfish, being cognizant and observant of the other, remaining strong when the other is weak,” they said. “And when times get tough, look back and remember why you fell in love to begin with,” Tom continued.

In fact technology has proven a valuable aide to their relationship. Rose travels extensively as a healthcare consultant and plans to use SKYPE to stay in touch with Tom, who works out of his shop at home making custom slip covers.

At first appearance, one might assume they are complete opposites. Rose, petite and passionate, thinks it’s important to stop and smell the roses and view the sunsets. “We bought this house six years ago so Rose could see the sun rise and set from our bedroom,” mused Tom admiringly. Tom is tall with a great sense of humor. But he is equally passionate about their relationship. “No matter where she is, that’s home – as long as she’s there I don’t care where it is,” he stressed.

Thoughout their home are memories of a lifetime shared. Numerous photographs of their kids growing up and playing sports, and paintings from islands they‘ve visited adorn the walls. “When our children were home they were our focus, yet we understood the importance of making time for one another,” said Tom. “We knew one day it would be just the two of us again.,” he added.

As for the future, Rose says, “We are looking forward to phase three together. We are the best part of each other’s day, and the fire, just like a great diamond, has never shown more brightly.”