Grandson creates video for grandpa with Alzheimer's to relive 72 years of love
Alfred and Sylvia Paley have been together for 72 years. That's seven decades of life and love; of growing a family and watching it blossom.
And the couple's love has never shone brighter.
"You want to know what love is?" said Alfred. "It's wanting to be with people, with certain people, as much as you can."
Sylvia met Alfred Paley when she was 14 and a half years old. (Sam Maller Photography)
But with life comes hardship. Alfred, who recently celebrated his 89th birthday, has memory loss; Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, and psoriatic arthritis.
"Sometimes, I don't understand what's going on around me," he said.
Yet through it all, Sylvia, his wife of 67 years, stays positive.
"I don't look at the things we can't do, I look at the things we can do, because it's all an adventure," said Sylvia. "You have to have a love affair with life."
And from behind a camera in their living room, this couple would soon discover just how much their love inspires one particular young man: their grandson.
Sam Maller with his grandparents, Sylvia and Alfred. (Sam Maller Photography)
Sam Maller, the couple's youngest grandson, is a photographer and soon-to-be graduate of Syracuse University. Earlier this school year, Maller sat down with some of his professors at school to address his emotions, and how they played into his work.
"I'm a very emotional person," Maller, a senior, told Rare. "Everything I do is motivated by [my] parents and my connection to where I've come from."
However, his teachers said his "personal sensitivity" was not coming through in his work as much as it should; he needed a project he could personally and emotionally invest in.
Maller ultimately looked to his roots and to the people who have helped mold him into the man he is today: his family.
So, in conjunction with his grandfather's birthday, he storyboarded this piece about his grandparents and their "life in love."
"I think that I had to make this piece in order to move forward in my career," he said. "Having the opportunity to sit with two of the most important people in my life, whom I care about so much and having them tell me about the light and darkness in their lives, was really transformative for me."
"I am so blessed to have both of these people in my life and to be able to learn from them each and every day," he said.
Watch the full video here: