We all know this story.
Well, based on the epic 1997 romantic disaster film written & directed by James Cameron featuring swoon-worthy Leonardio Dicaprio (I probably fell madly in love with him during this film) and up & coming British beauty, Kate Winslet.
Classic tale of two young lovers with a blossoming and passionate secret love affair, families of different class on board the Titanic Ship on their way to the the Concrete Jungle & Land of Opportunity, New York City.
Add the powerful and melodramatic soundtrack and you’ve got a heart-wrenching tear-fest like no other.
We all have pieces of stories that shake us to the core and pull at our heart strings because we can connect to it. We think of our own love and relationships.
Even in horrific events such as the Titanic disaster, which occurred 100 years ago on April 15, 1912, amazing stories emerge. Stories of heroics, stories of survival, and even stories of love. There were over a dozen newly married couples on board the grand ship, and many more couples who were impacted by the tragedy. Among those are these touching stories of love.
John and Nelle Snyder, first-class passengers, were saved in Lifeboat 7. It is said that when the first lifeboats were being loaded one of the members called for the “new grooms and brides” to board first. The Snyders didn’t hesitate. They were some of the first people in the lifeboats because so many passengers were afraid to leave the “big boat.”
Then there is the story of third-class passenger Sarah Roth. Sarah was a 26-year-old tailor from London going to New York to be married to her fiancé, Daniel M. Iles. She was probably the happiest passenger on board when Titanic steamed out of Southampton as she dreamed about marrying the man she loved in the dress she’d so lovingly made. When the ship sank her gown and all of her possessions were lost with it, but Sarah survived. She was married in a dress given to her by the Woman’s Relief Committee just eight days after the ship sank.
Edward and Ethel Beane were second-class passengers. Edward lived in New York for several years while Ethel waited for him in England. When he returned they finally married. The newlyweds chose Titanic to carry them to their new life together. When the ship starting sinking Edward helped Ethel into Lifeboat 13.
Here is part of their story from an article in The New York Times printed on April 21, 1912:
Beane is a bricklayer, and Ethel, his wife, was maid in a Norwich household. Between them they had stored away $500, and sixty-five wedding presents were lost with the money. Beane stood back at the cry of, “No, only women!” when his bride was placed in one of the lifeboats. But as he stood back manfully he saw that boat pull off and it was only half filled. And he jumped into the sea and swam for that boat, and Ethel Beane’s arms pulled him in.
I love their story. Mr. Beane was one of the few people who survived after being in the water. It’s amazing that the woman he loved pulled him from the freezing waters!
Now I bet, if you were like me during the Titanic film yelling & pondering “WHY? Why didn’t Rose pull Jack onto the large door she was drifting on? It was able to fit two people!” This story would just solidify those questions once again. Of course, it would not make for a more intense and dramatic ending now would it? 😉
And while all these stories are wonderful, my favorite love story from the Titanic is that of Isidor and Ida Straus. They rose from poverty to fortune in one generation as the owners of Macy’s Department Store in New York. As a couple they worked together. Ida supported Isidor in his roles as business man, congressman, and philanthropist, and Isidor supported Ida’s efforts in their home and in her own philanthropic activities. Their story of partnership and love is inspiring, but nothing is as moving their deaths.
Married to her husband for 40 years, Ida had a chance to board a lifeboat, but she instead chose to die in the arms of her husband as the RMS Titanic sank. She’s quoted as saying, “Where you go, I go.” Isidor tried to talk her into getting back into the boat, saying “The children, the children!” But her response was, “They will understand.” Isador’s body was recovered, as was his wedding ring, but Ida’s body was never found.
All of these heart-touching stories make me think of my dear husband, whom I love (even during the times he drives me up the wall). I’m thankful that we have today—this moment—together.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Tragedy may come at any time. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the love we have—to appreciate it and not take it for granted.
Think about these couples as you cuddle up to the one you love tonight, and be thankful that you still have life, and days, to live your love story.
Credits: Marriage Memo