Raleigh photographer's viral photo reminds us that love still exists after 'I do'

ByDeJuan Hoggard and Kaylee Merchak WTVD logo
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Raleigh photographer's tribute to parents goes viral
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A Raleigh couple has gone viral after showing the world just how strong love can be after 47 years of marriage.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh couple has gone viral after showing the world just how strong love can be after 47 years of marriage.

Like many children, Amber Robinson has become inspired by her parents' love.

In fact, she finds it so inspiring she decided to photograph it for the world to see.

When many people think of marriage, they only think of the good, not many think of the struggles a couple faces behind closed doors - and that's what Robinson wanted to highlight being guilty of those thoughts herself.

"I never dreamed of my wedding... only dreamed of a beautiful marriage," she posted as she shared a photograph of her parents on Instagram. "In this wonderful creative industry that I worked in, I focus so much on providing couple hours with a day of beautiful photography. To be honest, rarely do I stop to think about the day, weeks, months or years that follow a wedding day."

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Marvin Brewington, 70, and Wanda Brewington, 67, have been through a lot during their 47 years of marriage including two fights with cancer - colon and prostate.

"So today I share with you what those years after can look like when true love exists," the post continued. "These are my parents: married for 47 years, they have triumphed over cancer...twice. Have raised two successful daughters. They have been poor together and rich together. They have fed, sheltered, and advised countless lost souls. They love without expectation and give freely, whatever it is they have to offer."

Robinson said as she's grown up, her parents' love has become the epitome of her own marriage and her ideal family.

"I am SO proud to call them Mom and Dad. They are the epitome of where I strive to be in my own marriage and a constant reminder that a wedding is only a day, but a marriage is forever. If you are one of the millions in love, or maybe one of the millions of broken-hearted that need a visual reminder that love always endures, I would love for you to share this as a way of letting my mom and dad know, they are an inspiration to anyone who wants, believes, or is in love."

About the Brewingtons

Marvin and Wanda met in 1968 at Livingstone College in Salisbury.

"We were sizing up all the girls with catcalls and stuff like that," Marvin explained. "And when she came out the last time, I made a comment I cannot repeat on camera and she whirled around with her hand up in the air and she wanted to slap me. But she saw how big I was and dropped her hand."

"Actually, I didn't know it was the guy I had been drooling over for weeks," Wanda added. "I had been watching him from my dorm window and just thinking 'Oh my God, I hope he notices me,' because I was shy. Back in the 60s, you didn't approach a young man on your own, they had to approach you. So, I was kind of wishing he would approach me so I could get to know him. And he did."

"The fact that she recognized there was some worth in me when I embarrassed her to start with ..." Marvin continued. "So, she's got that kind of personality. She's a great person and I just fell in love with her. Everybody called me a player, but I wasn't a player. I was just searching and when I found her, it was over."

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Marvin and Wanda Brewington are still in love after 47 years
Credit: Amber Robinson Photography

And Wanda said she's still in head over heels for her husband almost five decades later.

"He's my soulmate. He really is. We like to laugh and tell people that we knew we were meant for one another because we had been married about 40 years before we actually realized that the last five numbers of my SSN are his exact date of birth - the month, the date, the year. So we were destined to be."

Robinson's photo has received more than 7,800 likes on Instagram and more than 15,000 shares on Facebook, making it go viral - yet, the photo almost wasn't posted because Wanda didn't see the point.

"Mom actually didn't want me to share the images on social media," Robinson explained. "She said nobody wants to see two old people making out in a park. And I said, 'You guys are really cute and I promise not to put any of the really kissy ones up.'"

For Robinson, it wasn't about sharing her photography, but her parents' love story.

"My goal as a photographer is when people see the image, to not say they look nice but to really feel something," Robinson said. "And when I was looking at the pictures of mom and dad, I looked for those pictures that made me feel like 'Man, they are still in love after all this time. After everything that they've been through. This picture right here shows the world how much they love each other.'"

So, what's the secret to a long, happy marriage?

"I don't think there is a secret," Wanda said. "And please don't misunderstand me. We've had some hard times, it's been hard; it has not always been easy. There have been times when I just wanted to throw my hands up and say, 'Ya know, forget this.' But in the end, I fell in love with him and I love him. When I'm down, Marvin picks me up. And I hope that I do the same for him. I think it's just our love. He is my best friend and has been from the very beginning. I married my friend."