“These sixty years of marriage have been wonderful. I do recommend it to everybody. It is not a restriction; it is anexplosion of love, happiness and everything that is good. So, anybody who is thinking of getting married, go ahead,as long as you’ve got the right bird!.” (Gordon Tyler’s speech at his Diamond Wedding Anniversary, 7th July 2012)
This series of photos is a work in progress on the relationship of my British grandparents and an insight into what it is to love at a grand age.
“And they lived happily ever after”, this is the worldwide-established closing line of every fairy tail we have grown up with. However, sooner or later we realise that it is actually the opening line of a much bigger chapter of life, reminding us that when one door closes, a new one opens.
For better for worse, we promise, although we cannot predict the future. Many are those whom life separates along the way but some do go the distance. For those who have ever crossed the path of an elderly couple holding hands in the street, walking slowly and each making sure the other is not too tired to continue walking, there is no better illustration of true love.
Nobody epitomizes this illustration better than my British grandparents. Gordon and Ruth Tyler have been living in the same house in North Harrow, London, in Great Britain for over fifty years. At 85 years old, they still travel around Europe, grow their own vegetables, look after their garden and their four-bedroom house and remain active members of their Church, being involved with the amateur dramatics society and the flower arranging group. Each of them has been engaged with his or her own activities since the beginning of their relationship, however they have always very much looked after one another, taking time to share their experiences and developments along the way.
They celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary on 5th July 2012. However, their love story started way before that date, back during World War II, when Gordon was sent out of London to visit family friends in Yorkshire for a change of air after the Blitz.
It was love at first sight, although they did drift apart for a couple of years only to be reunited at twenty-one years old in London. They were officially engaged in 1951 and, after their marriage the following year, lived with Gordon’s family in Kensington until they could afford to buy their own home and so embark on their life’s journey together.
It seems that that journey has continued ever since, leaving their children and grand-children full of admiration, respect and gratitude for such an example to live up to.
©Vaya Sigmas, 2010-13. All rights reserved.