LOVE CONQUERS ALL: Basil and Lorraine's bond spans decades
EVERY morning, Basil Stewart makes his way to The Oaks Nursing Home to spend the day with his wife Lorraine until visiting hours are over and he goes home to get ready to do it all over again.
Lorraine and Basil Stewart have the kind of story that "optimises what love is."
Debbie Old decided to share her parents' love story to pay tribute to a bond that has overcome far more than sickness and health.
Lorraine and Basil's love story began in a factory in 1974.
They were both working at General Holden Motors in Dandenong, Melbourne, when their mutual friends thought they might take a liking to each other and introduced them.
"He asked her if she wanted to go for a dance," Mrs Old said.
"It blossomed from there."
The pair were dating for a few months before Basil moved in with Lorraine and her three children Debbie, Maree and Ron.
"We were all under 10 when he first moved in," Mrs Old said.
"He loved us and our mum so much.
"To have someone else step in and be so kind.
"We were the lucky ones."
Mrs Old said they had always been hopeless romantics.
"There was a big market in Dandenong near were we lived," she said.
"He bought my mum her favourite flowers every single Saturday without fail.
"Usually carnations, those are her favourite."
After decades of flowers and love, and watching their children grow up, they moved to Warwick in 1996 to retire close to where Basil grew up.
After Lorraine started to develop dementia years later, they made a difficult decision and moved her into The Oaks Nursing Home in Warwick.
"He gets to the nursing home at 9.30 every morning and stays until 7.30 every night," Mrs Old said.
"If she's sleeping, he goes to carpet bowls for two hours, but if not, he will stay by her side.
"I don't think there would be many men out there that would be as dedicated as him."
One of Mrs Old's favourite memories of her parents is when she found them both sleeping while still holding hands after checking in to the nursing home.
"That optimises what love is," she said.
"They're so romantic."
Living far away from her parents in Melbourne, Mrs Old said it warmed her heart knowing that Basil was taking good care of her mum.
"My birth father passed away," Mrs Old said.
"After Basil met my mother, he came in and took care of us three very young children.
"There was never a question about it.
"He came to parent teacher interviews, school plays and did all the things dads are meant to do."
Lorraine and Basil have now been together for 45 years and counting.
Mrs Old said the love her parents share and their strong bond, was one that other people needed to hear about.
"In this day and age, people quit marriages too easy," she said.
"These guys worked at it.
"It's nice to know there are still people out there with so much romance and love for each other."