07/16/2014 03:49 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Husband's Love Letter To His Wife Of 61 Years Will Fill Your Heart With Joy

This is the story of Bob and Gail Phillips, a North Carolina couple who, after 61 years together, love each other as much as they ever have.

To celebrate their 61st anniversary on June 27, Bob wrote a love note to his wife. Instead of leaving the note for her to stumble upon in private, he sent it to the Charlotte Observer, which published it for the world to see.

It has since gone viral -- and for good reason. Grab your tissues, folks; this would wrench a tear from the Tin Man, and he doesn't even have a heart:

Dear Gail,

I look at newspaper pictures of new brides every Sunday. I'm searching. I want to see if there is now or ever will be another bride as lovely as you. Been doing that since June 27, 1953.

Actually, I already know the answer. There is not - and never will be to me - your equal in loveliness. On our wedding day you were the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. The delightful truth is that you still are.

Happy anniversary, sweetheart. You've made me and you keep me the happiest and most grateful husband any bride could ever know. I'd gladly welcome another 61 years of marriage with you. Beyond that I pray we will spend eternity together.

All my love, Bob

In an interview with WBTV, Bob, 87, admitted, with a laugh, that his marriage proposal to Gail, 79, wasn't particularly romantic. "I had taken her home and before she got out of the car, I said 'Gail will you marry me?' That was it."

She said yes. They married on June 27, 1953, and haven't looked back.

Bob told the Charlotte Observer the two celebrated their 60th anniversary last year by taking a nap. They had ruled out more adventurous activities like whitewater rafting and bungee jumping. "That’s what we’ll do again this year," he added.

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