It’s been a busy week – as usual – and I find myself lacking a blog post. In the spirit of recycling, I am posting an edited version of the speech I made at my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration. My dad died 4 years ago and I know that there is not a single moment that my mum doesn’t think of him. I think of him too. I can’t think of mum without thinking of dad.
When Mum read my earlier post – On Marriage & Holding up the Ceiling she said she couldn’t remember me reading the poem at all – but she loved it and enjoyed rediscovering it. She probably can’t remember any of this either so I thought I’d give it a second outing.
This is a little snippet of what their life was together.
I’m reminded of many of their other anniversaries over the years when Dad would send one of us kids off round the corner with a fiver to get an anniversary card at quarter past five on the 29th March . We’d drag ourselves off the sofa, moaning and groaning, until he said those magic words
‘You can keep the change for going’
So sorry mum, for all those £1.50 cards you got. It was us.
To tell the truth I could never understand why they would spend all that money on cards. You’d open them up and Dad would’ve written Till and mum would’ve written Yours, no names, nothing – every year. They could have saved all that trouble and put the same one back in the envelope for next time.
But when they first said their wedding vows fifty years ago I wonder if they ever imagined what life had in store for them?
For better or for worse – what memories that must conjure up.
I remember waiting for the bus outside the Caxton Theatre when I was about 14. I spotted mum and dad’s car coming down the road. Dad’s face was like stone, gritting his teeth, his cheeks pulsing, and mum was glaring out of the passenger window occasionally turning to snap something pleasant at Dad. Obviously, a small disagreement going on there. I decided the 25p was worth it and got on the bus.
Di told me to mention the water tank flooding the contents of the airing cupboard, and dear old dad, dad the plumber, saying it was because we girls had too many baths.
Better, well it’s not for me to know the better times, far outweighing the worse. Many of them will be private to them alone, and many, I’m sure, involve watching their family grow up and go out into the world.
Then we come to For richer, for poorer. Like everyone they’ve had a bit of both except that they’ve never been poor in all their married life – they may have been broke but that’s a different thing altogether.
In sickness and in health – I ‘d like to give you In sickness and in health according to the gospel of St Joan.
If it’s cold or flu related – get a Beechams down you.
And if it’s anything that aches –well, we’ll chop it off.
Simple – who needs the NHS.
I tried to stick to Tom and Joan and their celebration of marriage and found myself thinking of all of us; me, Dianne and Taryn, our husbands, our kids, and then I realised that that is what Mum and Dad’s marriage has been about, the unity of family, of being there for us girls.
The first time I was published was because Mum and Dad sent my writing to the Evening Telegraph.
When Di was singing we all went off to London’s West End to get a custom-made stage outfit.
And when Taryn wanted to get the funny wig and the batman cape mum and dad were there again, down the fancy dress shop, sorting it all out.
They’ve always supported us, and it was never about being the best but doing your best
And so; To love and to cherish, Till death us do part.
Sometimes watching them it seems like you’re in an episode of Till Death Us Do Part with Warren Mitchell and Dandy Nicholls but throughout it all , no matter what, they have certainly loved and cherished each other. They say you learn by example, so we three girls are fortunate beyond measure.
All marriages have their ups and downs. The easy bits are the good times but sticking together through the tough times is what counts.
When you first get married you are full of hope and love, and of all good things to come. You don’t consider how you’ll get through the bad times – you don’t think they’ll be that bad.
But marriage is more than hearts and flowers. It can sometimes be a feat of endurance but I’m sure mum and dad would agree that marriage is having someone there for you no matter what. Someone to moan to when you’ve had a bad day, someone to share your triumphs, however small they may be.
It’s for a good reason that your spouse is called your other half, because sometimes that’s just what they are.
To married couples everywhere – keep holding up that ceiling.
PS I just spoke to my mum before posting. She said she could remember me talking but not sure what it was about 🙂 Love you Mum x