Not all black and white

When Mum and Dad were married, the end of WWII was just seven years earlier. That’s like it had ended at the end of 2011, looking back from now. Or, if we look at the Armistice for WWI, the 100th year of which we commemorated yesterday, that was thirty-four years prior, say 1984 from today’s lens.

Photographs from that era were all black and white and the first one included in this blog is the “meet the parents” trip taken outside 125 Queen Street, Auckland.  Until recently this was the Bank of New Zealand building, the bank that Mum and Dad have been with for all that time! (although I’m pretty sure Mum has some funds hidden away elsewhere).  The photograph was taken by a street photographer and collected from the store an hour or so later on payment of a small fee.

Mum and Dad 1952.jpgIt’s tempting to look at a long marriage as a specific time period and consider it a great achievement (which it is), or a good effort (perhaps like a prison sentence – “hey it’s more than David Bain did and he was innocent!”), or assume what is there today is what was there all along.

Here’s the wedding day  – them on the right with one of Dad’s brothers as best man with the bridesmaid.

Mum and Dad Wedding

Unlike the photographs it’s not all black and white. Mum and Dad are quite colourful actually – check out the recent photograph below. They’re parents, grandparents, great grandparents, brother and sister, uncle, aunty, cousin and friends to many.

So on this day it’s a celebration of a couple who have lived together as an example of love, persistence, humour, faith and actually, the most important thing of all: just doing good. Some of that even washed onto me!

Nice. Congratulations. You’re a legendary couple.

Stephen

ps 66 years!

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Being 49

It’s a scam!  The whole year “I’ll be 50 next birthday” or “50 next year”.  Hell, whatever happened to being in my forties! That ended on turning 49 I’ve realised.  Wished I knew that then, but then again I guess I entered my forties a year early too. My Tim turned 20 this month, Dad turned 80 and my parents were married today 60 years ago. A card signed by Elizabeth R, another from the GG, one from the PM, one from the Minister of Internal Affairs (something not right about those words being involved in celebrating an honest and enduring relationship!) and finally Mum and Dad’s local MP. So a collection of cards, good wishes on Facebook and no doubt elsewhere and they will awake tomorrow in their 61st year of marriage, almost as irritatingly healthy as they’ve been for as long as I’ve known them!  Which is 49, well nearly 50, years, give or take a few years of not really knowing what’s going on.

So don’t hang around for too long not knowing what’s going on – that’s for when you’re 2 years old – not today, waiting for whatever is going on to be done to you. A milestone is a cause for others to celebrate a special person or people – to reflect on their achievements – and on all that they have brought into others lives. For my folks that’s quite a lot for quite a lot of people and I couldn’t be blessed with better parents. Not perfect, but then again who of us is, and whatever we’ve done if we’ve learned, grown and done our best to reconcile differences and appreciate blessings, we deserve to be happy.  And my Tim who has had all sorts of challenges, achieving an A- result in a paper made all those around him very proud, especially me. That’s one of the best things to celebrate in this month of milestones.  Well done Tim!

A milestone is also the moment to reflect on your own stuff. If you’re too busy to reflect I know what you mean. That’s pretty well me all the time.  But it’s also pretty well me most of the time to be happy too which is what I intend to take into my next decade – which starts with the next moment.

Which is of course all you really have. But those moments, taken, will guarantee you 20, 50, 60 or even 80 years of self-fulfilment. If you take them one at a time.  So being 49? Great actually. Now that I’m in the moment.

And happy celebration if that’s your thing too this month!  November? Lovin’ it as always.

Stephen