This story was sent in by Sally Stackhouse in response to the With Love Valentine Giveaway. I asked people to talk about the longest marriage they know about and Sally shared the marriage story of her parents though she wasn't eligible for the book, Always and Forever, Love - Success Stories of Marriage 20+years Strong by Otis G. Sanders (BTW, you can still enter for this giveaway - open to US residents). She later sent in the photos so I could share it with everybody.
Hi Myne, I thought you might be interested in my parents' story. On 1st August 2012 they will have been married for 59 years - they married on 1st August 1953.
Actually, they met each other in 1946 when my mother was 16 years old and my father was only 14 years old. My mother didn't like my father at first but according to my mother he was very persistent. In fact she freely admits that she wasn't very keen on him for a couple of years. My father always seemed to be catching the same bus as my mother was when she left work, although he could have caught an earlier bus to get home. During this time my mother would ignore him, to the point where she had several boyfriends and a group of friends who were girls and boys but my father was always a hanger-on to this group.
My father went straight from school in to the Royal Navy at age 15 and when mum and dad decided to get married my father had to obtain the permission of his Captain before the wedding could go ahead, as well as asking my grandad for his permission for my mother's hand in marriage.
So he had to pluck up his courage three times,
1)to ask my mother,
2) to ask her father and
3) to ask his Captain's permission.
Times were so very different back then.
The other interesting point to make is that England was still suffering from rationing after WWII and my grandmother made my mother's wedding dress and the bridesmaids' dresses and the wedding cake. My mother's wedding ring was a band of tiny gold hearts all joined together.
In fact, when they reached their 50th wedding anniversary (above pictured), the ring wore down so much that my dad replaced it for her along with a new engagement ring . They do suffer now from some age related ailments and don't do quite as much as they used to, but still live independent lives.
I believe couples who celebrate their 50th anniversaries are doubly blessed, because not only do they enjoy the companionship of a long marriage, they also have the richness of a long life and will probably see their grandchildren and all. Just like the oldest couple in Always and Forever, Love, this is a lovely and inspiring story. I wish them more love and happy years together.