“Happy Birthday hon!” the Grease actor, 66, wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, October 13, alongside a throwback photo from the pair’s 1991 wedding. “I found this photo of my mom and dad‘s wedding. It was nice to see ours alongside theirs. All my love, John.”
On July 12, Travolta confirmed via Instagram that Preston died at the age of 57 after battling breast cancer for two years.
“She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many,” he wrote at the time. “My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal. All my love, JT.”
Travolta and the Jerry Maguire actress tied the knot in September 1991 after meeting on the set of The Experts four years earlier. The couple share two children, 20-year-old daughter Ella and 9-year-old son Benjamin. Their eldest child, Jett, died in 2009 at the age of 16.
After news of Preston’s death made headlines, an insider told Us Weekly exclusively that her husband of 29 years was “devastated” by the loss. The pair “were true partners,” according to the source, and Preston was the “rock, the heart and soul who kept the family united.” While the family tried to be “strong” in the wake of the Florida native’s death, “they can’t imagine life without her.”
One month later, the Saturday Night Fever actor paid tribute to Preston with a heartfelt video in his first social media post since her death.
“My daughter @ella.travolta and I dancing in memory of momma,” Travolta captioned the sweet moment shared to Instagram in August. “One of Kelly’s favorite things, dancing with me.”
While Travolta took some time away from the spotlight to work through his family’s heartbreaking loss, he focused on helping his children heal. “Ella and Kelly were best friends and inseparable, and of course Benjamin worshiped his mom,” a source told Us exclusively in July. The same month, Ella penned an emotional statement in her late mother’s honor.
“I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you,” she wrote via Instagram at the time. “Anyone who is lucky enough to have known you or to have ever been in your presence will agree that you have a glow and a light that never ceases to shine and that makes anyone around you feel instantly happy. … You have made life so beautiful and I know you will continue to do so always. I love you so much mama.”
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