TAMPA (FOX 13) - Colleen and Jim were just kids when they first met. They were just 13 years old, and at their cousins wedding in upstate New York.
It was love at first sight for Jim, but cupid's arrow missed Colleen.
"I kinda liked her, but she didn't like me at all," remembered Jim.
But that didn't stop Jim from trying, and since Colleen only lived one town over, he spent a lot of time walking by her house, hoping to get a glimpse of his girl.
He didn't give up until she gave in, and they ended up being high school sweethearts.
"He was persistent. He was sweet," said Colleen
It's that love and kindness that has kept them together since high school, and married for 39 years this May.
"He's very considerate. He always writes, ‘I love you’ on my grocery list," said Colleen.
But their love story hasn't always been easy. Keeping a marriage together takes work, and Jim and Colleen tried hard.
One of their biggest obstacles came after they sent their two kids, Lisa and Kenny, to college, and found themselves alone together for the first time in 20 years.
"That was the roughest time of our whole marriage- having to learn each other all over again and dating,” said Jim. “Our conversations were all about the kids and sports, and now it's us and we didn't know what to talk about."
Over time they found that spark again, and now enjoy their empty nest. They say it brings them back to their beginning and reminds them why they've stayed together.
"She's my best friend. Period. Second to none," said Jim.
"I wouldn't pick anybody else," said Colleen.