Regardless, their love remained strong.
On the documentary, filmed around 2007, Spyer said, "Each one of us, in fact, looks different from how we looked when we met. But if I look at Edie now, she looks exactly the same to me. Exactly the same."
Windsor had halted her new career as a gay rights activist to help care for her partner, who suffered from multiple sclerosis. And it was after getting a "bad prognosis (that) I had another year to live and that was it" that Spyer proposed again.
"And I said yes," Windsor recalled. "She said, 'So do I.' "
Video shows Spyer being pushed through the airport in her wheelchair. It was from that seat -- on May 22, 2007, at Toronto's Sheraton Gateway Hotel -- that she gave her vows to make their marriage official in Canada.
"I, Thea Spyer, choose you, Edith Windsor, to be my lawful, wedded spouse," she said. "For richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."
Having happily gone four decades without, Windsor soon realized how much the marriage meant to her. It made her and Spyer's love legitimate and all the more real.
"It's different because somewhere you're a hidden person, and suddenly you're a citizen of the world," she said in October of 2012.
But what happened as Spyer's condition worsened, and after her death, proved a stark reminder they were not legally united in their own country. And the fact that New York legalized same-sex marriage in 2011 didn't mean that Windsor, for example, would suddenly get back the hundreds of thousands of dollars in inheritance tax that she'd given to the government.
That could happen, however, if the Supreme Court upholds the appeals court ruling. That is Windsor's hope, as is that whether a committed couple is heterosexual or homosexual becomes irrelevant within the next decade.
In the meantime, Windsor said she's proud to fight for something bigger than herself and the legitimacy of her union with Spyer. She hopes, through her struggle, to help make it so gay teenagers can "fall in love knowing there's a future," that children of gay couples won't feel the need to explain their families, and that homophobia becomes a thing of the past.
"I feel like I'm representing them."