Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

Love ain’t always easy, but it shouldn’t be hard

My grandparents were married for 63 years. Their love story is truly one for the ages.

They met when they were dance instructors at the Surreyville Dance Hall in Sydney. My grandfather proposed in 1950 at the Trocadero dance hall while they were dancing. The Canadian 3-step, La Bamba and the Jazz Waltz were some of their favourite dances. Some of ‘their songs’ included classics like ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole, ‘If I had my way’ by Bing Crosby and ‘The Last Waltz’ by Englebert Humperdinck.

My grandparents loved and cared for each other their whole marriage. They could be seen holding hands well into their 80s and 90s, when they were out shopping, or just sitting next to each other at home. My grandfather taught my grandmother how to drive and cared for her when her vision and mobility deteriorated. My grandmother would wake up early in winter to warm up my grandfather’s car for work and would give him water and chocolate while he mowed the lawn. 

Wedding Day, 1952

They’ve both passed away now but their love for each other and their love for the people around them lives on in me. Their love and partnership have helped me understand what I deserve in a partner. Someone who is kind and caring to me and to those around them. Someone who cares about what I’m interested in and supports me in pursuing those interests. Someone who makes me feel safe and comfortable. Everyone deserves that kind of love and support.

People nowadays often talk about green flags and red flags, but I think you can’t judge the health of a relationship and the quality of someone as a partner by simply ticking or not ticking certain highly subjective boxes
It’s not about someone buying you fancy things or saying they will take a bullet for you. What I think can be an objective measure of a positive relationship is really just thinking about how you feel in the relationship. It’s about how the other person makes you feel. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel free? Do you feel happy? Do you feel safe? Sometimes, answers to these questions can be found in little moments of hardship. When I think about these moments in relation to my grandparent’s relationship, a couple of cherished anecdotes come to mind.

The first one was the night they came home from their honeymoon. My grandmother went to open a box of brand-new dinner set items they got as a wedding gift. As she picked up the box, 2 dinner plates, 2 bread and butter plates, 2 saucers and 2 teacups fell out of the bottom of the opened box and smashed at her feet on the concrete floor of their garage. My grandmother looked at my grandfather with tears in her eyes. My grandfather simply said, “At least we didn’t wash them up yet.” They both burst out laughing, and together they cleaned up the mess. 

The second one was when they came home from a night out at the movies. They were both really tired and had done everything they needed to get ready for bed and walked into their bedroom. Neither of them wanted to go and turn out the light so they agreed that the last one into bed would turn it out. They looked at each other and both sprinted to the bed. They both jumped and as they landed on the bed, it collapsed underneath them. They both laughed non-stop for about 5 minutes and then proceeded to re-spring the bed, well past midnight.

They didn’t blame each other for their little moments of misfortune. They didn’t yell at each other or get angry. They laughed together, they loved each other, and they focused on working to create the best life for their family. Relationships require a lot of work but if both people love and respect each other, the work is more than worth it because it can turn into a lifetime of happiness. 

Blog by Bonnie’s social worker, Kate.

Images supplied.

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