HOLMBERG: Richmond couple finds happiness against tough odds

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- On Thursday night, as International Happiness Day drew to a close, we talked a bit about how to make every day happy.

We asked how people find happiness.

We heard from, and about, several people. Among them, Anne and Bob Reinhardt, high school sweethearts now ready to retire.

They’re living in an extended-stay hotel on West Broad Street near Short Pump. They sold everything but a small travel trailer’s worth of belongings that they could pull behind their pickup to a small Mexican town they had fallen in love with.

They were high school sweethearts looking forwards to some mellow time together.

He’s was a career Navy man. She worked for the state.

Bob says he’s a lucky man, to have a woman like her to love him through thick and thin.

And Anne feels lucky, too, blessed that when cancer came calling, she answered right away.

The first time was when she was just 35. Breast cancer. She caught it early and beat it with chemo and radiation.

In the midst of her clear years, a phone call came on June 3, 2011. Jason, their only child together –  a hard-working  24-year-old with his own house – was dead at 24, killed in a motorcycle crash on Courthouse Road.

Both were devastated. The worst heartbreak they had ever imagined. They fought through the worst of it, realizing it will never go away. They found a little solace joining the legions who helped a local young man get a double lung transplant. That man, Tucker  Gordon (#helptuckerbreathe), had a close friend who was friends with their son. (You can see that story here: http://wtvr.com/2013/05/08/helptuckerbreathe-raises-tens-of-thousands-for-henrico-patient/)

Mexico was calling them.

But cancer called first, again. Anne, being cautious, found she had melanoma of the scalp in the summer. She’s had a series of surgeries and just finished her rounds of radiation. Chemo is on deck, it appears.

And so they stay on in their hotel.

Surprisingly happy.

For her, it’s simple. It could always be worse. So many people have it much worse, she says. You just never know . . .

“You need to live every day to the fullest,” Anne says. “So many people are upset about small, minute things. My theory  – is it life or death? If it’s not life or death, I’m not going to get upset.”

She laughs at the world-class comb-over that covers the baldness on top of her head. Most people, she says proudly, have no idea that she’s going through anything heavy or hard.

In her mind, she says, she’s just living.

9 comments

  • Susan Ludlam

    They are truly a very special couple. May God place His footprints in front of them, and lead them to a glorious, wonderful, fulfilled future. Love you both, Anne and Bob. xoxoxox

  • Terry

    Theu ate certainly an amazing couple. L8fe has thrown them many a curve, but they have survived! They come out stronger, more positive and determined. Sadness, doubt, disappointment and emtions like that are not allowed in their lives. Through e everything they put others before them. They are the genuine deal. We are all the better 8n following their example. God blesses them both each day, and we are all blessed to have them in our lives!

  • Michelle

    To my Uncle Bobby and Aunt Anne,
    Youve been throw hell and back, laughed at cancers face and lost a great son. As a newly married lady i look up you guys relationship n it helps us get throw our worst times. Im so proud n honored to know you and love you!! Oh when u go to mexico have a drink for me!!!! Love you guys<3

  • Susan Simmons

    Such an amazing Brother and sister in law. They have been through a lot.. But have stayed strong. Anne you are the strongest woman. I praise you every day. We love you !!!! You both got this and when it is all over with you can finally enjoy your retirement in Mexico.

  • Karen Rowell

    We have been blessed to name Anne & Bobby amongst our very best friends for almost 30 years. Their strength and positive attitudes are inspiring! Life has thrown more challenges at them then anyone should have to endure, and yet they continue to perservere and never slow down. They are an example to us all! We love them and continually support them with our prayers.

  • Jennifer Reinhardt

    They are an amazing couple and with the help of The Lord they will be in Mexico soon! I am proud to call them my brother n sister n law!

  • Colleen [aka. The Munchkin] Simmons

    O Mark ~ I’m so excited you got to meet Anne & Bobby!!! They are an outstanding 2some and have been friends for o so many years and it was heartbreaking with the loss of Jason!!!! God holds Anne & Bobby in the palms of his hands to show us all strength and love!!!! Many thanks Mark for your article!!!

  • linda beales

    i am so proud to have moved back to Richmond last May and not missed your last two stories about regarding Dave Brockie and Annie and Jason Reinhardt. Hope your brother Kevin is doing well. Your parents did a fine job with the 2 of you.

    I was a big groupie of your “Jimmie Buffet Band” There is a really BIG story brewing that will be breaking soon you would be perfect for the job, I am one of the women who has been in horrific pain for the last 3 years.
    all because of money and greed. I don’t say much publicly I have been stalked, had doctors refusing to even see me, take a look on facebook’s
    “mesh medical news desk” there is a summery for any reporter to catch up fast. this story is true but reads like a patricia cornwell novel. please think long and hard before you jump into over 600 pounds evidence have been destroyed, people have died, disappeared, their hard drives wiped clean, years of email between high ranking supervisors suddenly dwindled down to 10 or 15 pieces of mail. it was just released in the news today that Johnson and Johnson’s baby power has been pulled off the market several months ago with a very heavy fine for dragging their feet about notiftying the public also it seems that the walmart brand
    “Equate’ baby shampoo had been mixed incorrectly by J & J.

    please be very careful 22,000 cases are scheduled to be heard by one judge in Charleston West Virginia. isn’t it weird so much of this information is being ignored by the “main stream media”, not on talk shows or news specials

    Best Wishes

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