Appreciating 'The Luckiest Thing' In Life Joan and Ari DeLevie met in 1959, when they noticed one another at a party. They've been together ever since -- even over their parents' objections. Their daughter talks with the couple about their bond, and how it's helping them face a new challenge: cancer.
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Appreciating 'The Luckiest Thing' In Life

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Appreciating 'The Luckiest Thing' In Life

Appreciating 'The Luckiest Thing' In Life

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

One of them is Sharon DeLevie, who brought her mother Joan to a recording booth, and Joan talked about meeting Sharon's father. It was at a party in 1959 when a young man named Ari caught her eye.

JOAN DELEVIE: I saw this guy with a head of black hair and white, white teeth and dark eyes. And, honest to God, my heart started to, like, beat. We sort of caught each other's eye. And then he came over and I said, this be the guy. We started dating, and then we were engaged about a month later. And this is exactly how he proposed: I've been thinking a lot about marriage.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DELEVIE: I said, what? What did you say? He said, oh, I've been thinking a lot about marriage. And he said, do you want to get married? I said yes. Then it was problematic, because his parents were against me and my parents were against him. He had a hole in his heart. My parents insisted that his parents send them the X-rays so they could bring the X-rays to their doctor to make sure that he wasn't going to die in about a minute.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SHARON DELEVIE: How has your life been different than you imagined it?

DELEVIE: My feeling was I would get married, have two to three children and be bored, whereas being married to daddy has been a very exciting journey and way different than I thought it would be.

DELEVIE: Tell me about daddy.

DELEVIE: Daddy has no hair anymore.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DELEVIE: His teeth are still white, and he personifies the word kind. I have lung cancer, stage four, and he's been my caretaker for a year and a half, and everything runs so smoothly because of him. I mean, if you know Ari, you would know that he is the one who you want to take care of you if you're sick like this. He was probably the luckiest thing that happened to me. And, believe me, it's luck.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Joan DeLevie, with her daughter Sharon at StoryCorps in New York. Their interview will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. And you can hear Sharon's conversation with her father at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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