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A love story in 2 parts: A couple who each lost a spouse find each other

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Today from StoryCorps, a love story in two parts. Christine Berro and Andy Keeler interviewed each other in 2007, just a few months after their wedding. It was a second marriage for both. Each had lost a partner in the years prior.

CHRISTINE BERRO: What was the saddest moment of your life?

ANDY KEELER: I hate to say. I have to look in your - in the eye when I do this. Seeing Jan die. You know, she was the person that I thought that I was going to live with forever, love forever. It's strange, but the things you miss most are small things - cold feet on your back in the middle of the night. And soon you go, oh, man, I wish she was here. What about you?

BERRO: After Emil died and the kids went back to school. The first night I was home alone in my house was pretty tough.

KEELER: I've thought a lot about what is love and what does it mean to me, you know? I mean, you had love to begin with. Why wasn't that good enough? Because I almost thought that it was, for me.

BERRO: Well, I kind of thought, like you did for a while, too. But I think love is limitless. I was lonely. I wanted someone to put my cold feet in their back. Your life with Jan and my life with Emil got us to where we are. We're intertwined. And it's a beautiful gift.

KEELER: I think at this point I'm supposed to say, shut up and kiss me, but...

BERRO: That would be nice.

MARTÍNEZ: Sixteen years later, Christine and Andy are still together, and they recently recorded another StoryCorps interview.

KEELER: There anything about me that surprised you a little bit?

BERRO: It's an easy answer for me.

KEELER: Oh, all right.

BERRO: The answer is how well you take care of me.

KEELER: That surprised you?

BERRO: The depth of how well you take care of me. In what moments do you think about Jan?

KEELER: This time of year, I think about her constantly. Thanksgiving is coming up, and, you know, that's very near when she died. And I'm still no treat to be around the month of November.

BERRO: I have similar things with Emil.

KEELER: His birthday's coming up.

BERRO: Yeah, just a few days. But I feel like I know Jan. I may have never physically met her, but I feel like I know her pretty well.

KEELER: Emil and Jan, in a way, had the hard part. It was Jan's job to take the rough edges off me. All I can tell you is I love you, and I want to love you just a minute more and a minute after that.

BERRO: It's a deal.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTÍNEZ: Christine Berro and Andy Keeler. Their StoryCorps conversations are archived at the Library of Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Kayla Lattimore