The tables are dressed with beautiful linens and flowers, the tuxedos are pressed, and a gorgeous white gown hangs from the bedroom door ready to be worn. Ahh, ’tis the wedding season!
As preparations are well underway for seating arrangements and photography locations, young couples anxiously await the time that they pronounce their love for one another in front of family and friends and say I do. They dream about the big day and wonder what their lives will be like in years to come as they build a life together.
For many seniors, their wedding day is long past, but their memories are dear and they’ve had the enjoyment of celebrating many milestone anniversaries. Amy and Ivan, residents of Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens, are no exception. This month, they are proudly celebrating their 70th anniversary.
Amy was Ivan’s first girlfriend and before long they were married. They officially became husband and wife on July 18, 1948, in Elkhorn, MB. Their union gifted them five children (all within eight years), 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren who now all live halfway across Canada from Winnipeg to British Columbia.
As they recently renewed their wedding vows with family and friends at Rotary Villas, the 92 and 90-year-old fondly look back at their long life together. When asked what the secret was to their successful marriage, Ivan quickly replied “Love and respect one another.” He then joked and said that no one else would have him!
As Ivan spent his entire working career with CP Railway, their family relocated to a number of different communities while Amy stayed at home to care for the children. While there were many happy times, they were also faced with difficult times having lost one of their daughters in a car accident when she was just sixteen-years-old. And later in life, they lost two of their adult sons to cancer.
“You need to hang in there even if times are tough. Some couples drift apart and blame one another when something bad happens, but we leaned on each other and became closer and closer when we lost the children,” said Amy.
After retirement, the couple says they are very fortunate that they were able to spend a lot of time travelling together. For over a decade, they explored many different parts of the world including New Zealand, Germany, Denmark and Great Britain.
For the past three years, they’ve been part of the locally owned and operated Rotary Villas community and are so glad that they made the decision to live there.
“It opened in March, we moved there in April. I was tired of cooking,” laughs Amy. “But, we do love it here.”