“She’s so pretty,” Paul Wilson, 55, thought when he noticed Sandrali LeMieux, 49, at the Parents Without Partners dance in Prairie Village.
It was September 1997, and Paul asked Sandrali to save him a dance. She agreed. Then a man brought her wine, and another man whisked her off to the dance floor.
Later, Paul went over to her and said, “It looks like you’re very busy.”
Sandrali looked him in the eyes, took his hand and said, “Don’t go.” She and Paul danced together the rest of the evening.
Paul: “Within 20 minutes of dancing with Sandrali, I was smitten. She was gorgeous and sweet. She was also open and honest. During our first dance, she told me she’d had polio as a kid and she occasionally stuttered.”
Sandrali: “Paul was nicely dressed, easy to talk to and he had a good sense of humor. I knew right away he was someone special.”
The unfolding: After the dance, they went to a Denny’s and talked. Paul called her the next day, and they started spending time together.
Each was divorced and dating but had yet to meet the right person. Now, Sandrali and Paul felt an instant kinship. Soon their relationship deepened, and they began discussing marriage.
They were wed in Mission in March 1998.
Challenges: Six years later, Sandrali developed liver problems. Paul quit his management job to spend time with her in the hospital. Since then, Sandrali has been challenged by cancer, a liver transplant, a recurrence of polio and a broken hip.
Paul is dedicated to taking care of her. “We are so devoted to each other and so close,” Paul says.
Favorite shared activities: In earlier days, they loved traveling, eating out and going to ballgames and movies. These days, they enjoy watching movies and sports on TV.
Careers: Paul is retired from his work in retail management and from six years at Quest Diagnostics. Sandrali worked in corporate accounting for Lee Jeans.
Family: Today they live in Lenexa. Sandrali has two children and two grandchildren. One of her daughters is deceased. Paul has two children and one grandchild.
What keeps their relationship strong: They love being together and work as a team to make the best of things.
The qualities they most appreciate about each other:
Sandrali: “Paul is kind, generous and caring. He keeps life fun and interesting. I love everything about him.”
Paul: “Sandrali laughs easily. She’s gentle and soft-spoken, and she appreciates all I do for her. She is loving and as brave as anyone I’ve met.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.