Gary and Charity Phipps.

GODFREY - With Valentine's Day just ahead in February, the topic of love is now in the air.

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For Gary and Charity Phipps, the two have been literal soul mates since they were children.

The two started dating on Feb. 2, 1993. The couple was married on March 19, 2018.

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"We have known each other since we were four," Gary Phipps said. "The date we met/started dating is not exact as we've known each other for so long. Our parents would set up playdates and go to church together. We used to be next-door neighbors growing up for a while living in Brighton. We now have three children and are still adding to our story. We are going on 16 years being married this year."

Gary said the couple has so many memories it is impossible to cover them since they have known each other for so long. However, one memory comes to mind when they were playing together during the summertime in Brighton.

"We were riding bikes, going to the park and climbing trees together in the 1990s," he said. "We once buried a "time capsule" (her jewelry box that her father gave her with things of ours inside) that remains buried in Brighton near what is now Sonny's Main Street Bar and Grill though we don't remember the exact location of it any longer."

Gary said without a doubt, Charity is his soul mate and he is so thankful for their many years and memories together.

If you have a love story that you want to share before Valentine's Day, e-mail news@riverbender.com and include a clear photo and details about your remarkable relationship.

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