No matter who you talk to, most people will agree that sixty-five years is a long time. Depending on how, or perhaps who, you spend sixty-five years with, probably makes the time feel longer or shorter. My husband’s grandparents celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary last November. Even though that is a long time, I’m sure they would both agree that it’s been the best sixty-five (and a half) years of their lives.
The first time my husband took me to his grandparents’ farm to meet them, his grandpa Angus asked me if he could show me the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Curious, I complied, following him down the hall where he showed me a photo of Marlene, his bride, taken a couple of years before they were married. I hardly knew my Other Half at that time let alone his extended family, but it was pretty clear to me that theirs was a love story that had stood the test of time.
We’re so fortunate to raise our family near all of our remaining parents and grandparents. Over the years I’ve enjoyed visiting and learning from everyone and seeing them all in a new light as my own life evolved from a girlfriend to a wife, and now mother. With Marlene and Angus, it’s been most interesting to observe how they’ve stayed the course of commitment for several decades, in spite of challenges that one can only imagine would occur from the 1940’s to present day. They’ve been blessed with children and grandchildren, and still continue to welcome great grandchildren with enthusiasm and love. In fact, when my Other Half and I were off to the hospital to usher in one such great-grandchild, we unexpectedly dropped off our two-year-old twins at their farm in the middle of the night. Naturally, they took it in their (then) octogenarian stride.
They remain each other’s biggest supporters, although there is evidence of daily compromise. For example, I’m not exactly certain what happened, but I do know that Angus has been responsible for making his own porridge every morning for more than six decades. And I also recognize the patience Marlene has that can only come with being married to someone blessed with a strong sense of humour, a twinkle in his eye, and a penchant for teasing. Angus’ brand of humour hits very close to home for me because my husband has inherited it as well. I’m going to go ahead and say it takes a special person to fully appreciate that Davidson comedy each and every day.
They enjoy hosting guests at their farm and appreciate a good visit. After even a quick stop, you’ll leave with your tank full of homemade baking, hot coffee (with cream and sugar), and at least one or two previously unheard stories to file away. If you’re lucky, you might get a quick peak at a new set of lambs from Angus’ flock, or Marlene might send you home with one (or twelve) jars of chokecherry jelly, just because.
Someone recently remarked to Marlene that sixty-five years was a long time to be with the same man. Without missing a beat, Marlene’s response was “it helps if you choose the right man in the first place.” That good choice not only changed her life, but created generations of family that I’m grateful for.
In a world that often seems topsy-turvy, their unwavering commitment to each other is inspiring. After more than sixty-five years, Angus and Marlene are an excellent example of what can be accomplished with love, faith, good humour, and of course, a sprinkling of compromise.