BUFFALO, NY -"In any marriage you've got keep things going," said Joe Mikolajczak, 73, regarding his marriage to his wife Marylou, the 50th Anniversary of which would have come Saturday.
"You've got to inject some kind of levity into the marriage," he said.
As such, during their time together, he was often fond of surprising her.
"Just to see her smile was always worth it to me."
Long before their 50th anniversary, he hatched a plan to mark the occasion.
A big plan.
"A year and a half ago, before our 49th, I contracted for the sign," he said, explaining the electronic billboard which now towers above I-190 southbound, just before the Clinton Street exit which, along with other messages, flashes two images of Marylou every 40 seconds.
"It was just my way of saying 'I love you'," he said.
However, Marylou died in April; just six months shy of their Golden Anniversary.
"I miss her every day. I cry every day...I cry every night and I should cry. She was a beautiful woman inside and outside," said Mikolajczak, inside the Valley neighborhood home he soon hopes to sell and from which he plans to move.
"Too many memories here," he said.
While he could have canceled the billboard since Marylou's passing, he decided not to...and even told her about the surprise he hoped she'd live to see.
"A week before she died I told her what I was gonna do...and all she did was look at me and tell me I'm nuts. But she was worth it. I wanted her to have some sort of recognition. You could look around all you want, for as long as you want, you'll never find anybody like her."
He just wanted everyone else to know that too.
Click on the video player to watch ours story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bob Mancuso. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2