|Still snogging after 60 years...?|
My Mam and Dad recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and we managed to persuade Her Majesty to send them an Anniversary Card. Well, we went online anyway.
It was a nice surprise for my Mam, but I think my Dad - nobody's fool even in his eighties - knew all about it since I asked for a copy of their wedding certificate in order to validate my request. I don't think he even considered that I might have been authenticating my legitimacy.
Their anniversary has made me think a lot about the period for which they have been married - sixty years is a long time and there are so many things that are different now, so many changes have taken place over that half century plus, things that we now take for granted still cause surprises and joy for my parents. iPads, Recording TV programs, £8 a gallon petrol, mobile phones and stair lifts to name a few...
There were no TVs when my parents got married, you read a paper or listened to the Home Service (Mam and Dad were both in the Armed Services) for news. You HAD to go to the cinema to watch a movie - but that was ok and owning a car was a rarity - certainly families never had two or three.
Was life simpler then...? Well perhaps, but there were hardly any human rights, life was cheaper, shorter and with far less leisure time or activities to fill it. People read more, chatted more, walked more and ate less.
As kids we were allowed to play outside all day, my first wrist watch was bought so that I would know when to go home for tea, and I did what I was told to do or I was punished. At school we were caned or slippered for serious crimes like smoking or skiving - none of that these days of course, the punishment, I mean - school children are still recalcitrant. Later, in the sixties, we got our first TV at home - black and white naturally - and German! I grew up watching the Banana Bunch and The Monkees dubbed into German and the actors' real voices were never heard due to the dubbing. It's still a little odd hearing Micky Dolenz actually talking in English. Man In a Suitcase, Fireball XL5 and The Prisoner - all in German and in someone else's voice! I never knew for years that they all sounded completely different in real life - I assumed that each actor/singer/cartoon character did their own dubbing!
Sixty years later my parents have a much more relaxed attitude to life and to their leisure time - I think life has been good to them generally, and, let's face it, they've been married for more years than I've been alive, so they've been through all the things that could have separated them - barring one - and have come out the other side, still together and still very much in love. I wish them both so much more than I can give them - my Father is still my hero, my Mother still my confidant and as gorgeous to me now as I ever thought her when I was a kid, and I am very aware that at 56 years old I am lucky to have both my parents to talk to and share things with. It's a privilege that I think about every day.
So, if you do read this and one or both of your parents are still with you, try and be as thankful as they undoubtedly are - it's a blessing we can only regret and never rectify once it's too late.