On July 12th 1963 I met my lovely future husband. I am one of the luckiest women alive because he’s a wonderful man with all the attributes of my gentle, kind, hard-working, honest, passionate and compassionate father. This doesn’t mean we agree on everything; rather, we agree to differ when our thinking collides. We allow each other our differences without trying to persuade the other to our own point of view. Sometimes there’s even a moody silence between us which lasts until the next cup of tea or meal is due when one of us will grudgingly ask “Tea or coffee?” or “What would you like for lunch?”. Then we laugh and it’s all forgotten.
The day we met I’ll always remember because it was Orange Lodge Day in Liverpool. The day Protestants celebrate William of Orange’s success at the Battle of Boyne and his ascension to the throne of England as King William 111. I had never seen the Liverpool march before and a friend persuaded me to go and see it. On our way back home we called into our local fish and chip shop for some supper and leaving with our food purchases, two boys outside the shop called after us. “Can I carry your handbag love?” We just carried on walking, our noses in the air. The boys followed us as we walked up the street towards our homes. As we reached the first door one of them said “Don’t go in yet, stay and talk to us for a while.” We were still a little reluctant to have anything to do with them but seeing we were safe right outside our homes we decided to chat a little. They asked if they could take us to the cinema the following evening so we agreed. The next few minutes we spent sorting out who was going with whom. To cut a long story short we did go to the pictures with them and I continued to see my handsome boy for two years until we married in 1965. We’ll be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary next year and although life hasn’t always been smooth we’re still in that happy place we were when we first married.
My husband had a serious heart attack in 1989 at the age of 43 and his Doctor advised him to give up work. He was really ill and couldn’t even walk to the top of our garden path. Sadly, he was never offered surgery until a couple of years ago and during the pre-operative tests found the four-way by-pass needed could not be carried out because his left carotid artery is completely blocked. They can clear a carotid artery if it’s only partly blocked but not if the blockage is complete. Now 25 years on from his heart attack, thankfully he’s still here and coping well due to his positive attitude. Remarkably, his body has learned to compensate a little for his illness. His heart has grown a minor set of extra veins to help keep his blood pumping and his carotid arteries have somehow found a way to cope too.
I dearly hope we can enjoy our married life for many years to come. We have a long way to go to beat my parents’ marriage that lasted 75 years.
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