Something very different for me this week. First, a true story (in parts); second, brazenly exceeding the word limit. This story, all except the bit about the photo itself, is based on the romance of my maternal Grandparents. The story of how they met, fell in love and married is worthy of its own novel. Even at 150 words, this version merely scrapes the surface, so I hope you will forgive me its length.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure, so the saying goes. I don’t think my grandparents ever felt the need to repent – their love, friendship and companionship was evident to all who knew them and an inspiration to those of us who come after.
When he died, after more than 60 years of marriage, my Grandad was in the arms of his beautiful bride; she still misses him every day. And she still, when telling how they married, says “Married in a rush”, with a playful wink.
“Married in a rush,” she’d say, with a playful wink. They were, but not for the reason it implied – their first child wasn’t born for another seven years. Their hurry had all to do with avoiding separate postings. “There was a war on,” she would add.
There’s only one photograph. They keep it beside their bed. She in a simple, grey dress; he a grey suit. The dress was blue in real life: a favourite, but worn many times before and since.
But what did it matter? They were in love, they had been happily married for fifty-nine and three-quarter years. A white dress is no guarantee of happiness. Still, when he saw it, he couldn’t resist. He pulled £100 from their pension savings – the very amount her father had insisted he prove he had before giving them permission to wed – and opened the door of the second-hand shop.