Marietta couple's love withstands challenges - New York News

Marietta couple's love withstands challenges

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MARIETTA, Ga. -

Every e-mail sent in for our Good Day love stories was special, but the story of the Ilitzky's was especially heartwarming. Their nearly 30-year marriage is proof of the old saying, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Walking through a busy Marietta square, they look like any other happily married couple. But Richard and Kara Lynn Ilitzky have a story to tell, one that begins with a brash young sailor and a silly USO game.

"All the adults sat in a circle, and you had to walk around the circle and very quickly sit down on someone's lap and look them in the eye and say, 'I love you honey, but I can't make you smile!'  And if they smile, they got to get up. It's their turn," said Richard.
    
Richard ended up in Kara Lynn's lap, and she didn't smile

"This guy is cocky.  And I'm not falling prey to him," said Kara Lynn.
    
It didn't last long. They were married in San Diego 28 years ago. First comes love, then comes marriage, and you know what's next.    

"Paul, Garrett, Carson and Josh," said Kara Lynn
    
Raising four boys is not easy, but the couple's greatest challenge was to come.

"In the last five years my wife's health has declined due to multiple auto immune diseases," said Richard.

This is where their story truly becomes a love story, and the words "through sickness and health" are tested.

"He works a full-time job at one place and on weekends, he sells popcorn and peanuts on street corners so we have money for doctor's appointments and to put groceries on the table. And that's what love is," said Kara Lynn.
    
It's a love so strong Richard wrote Good Day a letter.

"I was in love from the first moment I was introduced to her...," read Richard. The letter closed with a Valentine wish far sweeter than flowers and chocolates. "...and with love and hope, we will spend another 28 years or more together."

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