ACWORTH, Ga. -- In a small town by a still lake live a husband and wife who believe life and love are just this simple.
Jerry and Susie Stros have been married 51 years. In the past two weeks, their lives have become far too difficult.
“I had just been to the doctor three days before, I just had blood work; I just had everything a week before that – nothing," she said.
But three days before an annual trip to Florida, Susan Stros went back to the doctor with shortness of breath. She wound up in the hospital.
“I was in ICU, and I ended up with pneumonia and lung cancer," she said.
The diagnosis was dire: stage 4 lung cancer with no cure. Susan spent the next week learning her options and setting up hospice. Every photo in her room showed her husband by her side.
“You want to make it better, but your heart is just ripped out, like something is missing” Jerry Stros said.
Jerry was by her side again a week later when he began his own battle.
“I saw him go into the seizure -- and I’d never seen anybody have a seizure, but I knew what it was,” Susan Stros said.
Jerry’s seizure led to his own diagnosis: cancer in both the lung and brain. This photo shows Jerry heading to the ICU, holding hands with Susie, neither knowing if they would see each other again:
“You don’t even think of the words,” Jerry said. “If you could just hold her one more time? That way, when you reach out and she’s there, you know?”
In these moments, life and love are never simpler.
And a week later, Susie and Jerry reunited at home, and that love overflowed.
"It was like our honeymoon,” Jerry said. “We needed that closure to say goodbye. Some people never get that chance.”
Now each day is about cherishing life and love. No matter how long they last.
“I can’t sit here and beg God, ‘Please, please’ Please what? I can’t ask for anything else,” Susie Stros said.
“Fifty years,’ Jerry said. “It’s that love that’s there. Nobody can take that love away from you."
Both Jerry and Susie stressed that despite everything that has happened, they could not be more faithful and thankful for all they'd had in their lives. They have four children and six children.
A GoFundMe account has been established for the family. Click here for information on how to donate.