gmhtoday February March 2018 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 86

A Valentine's Day Tribute to: Love It can begin with Janet & Mike Thompson a kiss, the color of Leonette & Tony Stafford someone’s eyes, a smile, or a laugh, but how does love withstand the test of time? Four local couples share their secrets to a successful marriage. Mike & Debbi Sanchez Gregg & Chris Giusiana Written By Kimberly Ewertz The Thompson's An invitation to a play led Janet and Mike Thompson, both 65, down the matrimonial aisle. In November 1979 after attending a play wi th friends, Janet met Mike, one of the performers. “When I met him backstage I noticed how tall he was and how pretty his eyes were, his pretty blue eyes,” Janet said. Three days later the couple went on their first date. “He came over, I poured a glass of wine, and we started talking and we never went out. He never left. It was just amazing, we just hit it off,” Janet said. Two weeks later, they were engaged. “We had both kind of been around the block by the time we were 26, so we knew what was out there,” Mike said. “People say you have to work at your marriage and we always have to apologize because we didn’t really ever have to work at our marriage,” Mike said. 86 The couple has two children, Aaron, 36, and Megan, 34, who works with Mike in San Jose. They also have four grandchildren. In their early years, Janet worked at a deli while raising the children. Deciding that she wanted to do more, she expressed an interest in taking a para legal class. Mike suggested she go to law school instead. “I’ll be 39 by the time I get finished,” Janet told her husband. Mike’s reasoning was hard to argue with. “Well you’re going to be 39 any- way, be 39 and a lawyer.” Janet did just that and enjoyed a successful career as a family law attorney. She is now retired. Mike, how- ever, has no intention of retiring. He enjoys his work as a forensic accountant and he especially enjoys working with his daughter. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 The couple moved from San Jose to their home in San Martin in 2002. Mike was initially hesitant to move due to the work commute. “Ironically the commute is the best part. I look forward to it because I live with my wife, and I work with my daughter, so the only time that I’m ever by myself is sitting in the car,” Mike said. The couple spends most of their down time at home but they do enjoy traveling. “I especially like it because then I get him all to myself,” Janet said. “She’d like to get off one airplane and get onto the next,” Mike added. Another shared enjoyment is music. “She plays music and I stand behind her,” Mike said adding, that it was due to Janet’s urging that he took up the bass guitar. “Turns out I really like it. The bass is