Still the one I love

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ROS + JONNY: A HAPPY HARMONY

Ros and Jonny share memories of togetherness; years fortified by commitment and love. They have survived the turbulence, weathered the mundane, relished in the joys and discovered “home” to them was each other. And here they reflect on their 60-year journey, with the hope that it will inspire and encourage couples on their own marital adventure.

How did you meet? Ros: I first met Jonny when I was only 11 or 12. He was my big brother’s best friend and came to our flat quite often. He used to tease me by saying that when I grow up he would take me out. I think I already had a crush on him. Jonny: I was introduced to Ros at a social when she was just 15 by her brother who was a good friend of mine. I always say I bought her for two shillings and six pence, the price of a ticket to the social. (Ros remembers me coming to her flat to see her brother when she was younger, but as far as I’m concerned she was just a child at 11 and the social was our first real meeting.)

How did your partner propose? Ros: My father died when I was only 11 and my brother soon took over the role of my father looking after me and my mother. If I remember correctly, Jonny and I started going out together when I turned 16 and we went steady for three to four years. He often discussed marriage so it was not an out of the blue proposal, more like a few conversations. When we were ready, we approached my mother and brother to tell them we wanted to get engaged. Our parents were over the moon (as was I!). Jonny: Proposals were not a grand event like they are nowadays. If you were going steady for a while it’s because you both want to get married. We started going steady when she was 17. When Ros turned 19, I proposed at the blue lagoon—a spot the kids used to go. It was a drive-in café overlooking the sea in Durban.

Do you remember your wedding day? What was it like? Ros: I will never forget our wedding day. I was very nervous and excited. Hanging on to my brother’s arm, I was pulling him down the aisle. I still remember a voice from one of my aunt’s saying, “Slow down! Stop running.” From then on, I relaxed and enjoyed every minute of it—especially the service in the synagogue. Jonny: Our wedding was great in every way and I remember everything about our day. The marriage ceremony at the synagogue, the afternoon reception, the first dance (a romantic waltz), the speeches and the wonderful two-week honeymoon. Most of the bridal party, our family and friends, were and still are such an important part of our lives.

How did you know your partner was the one? Ros: Knowing each other for so long, I think we both knew that we had similar natures, the same important values and above all, respect for our families and each other. Jonny: It felt like we just fit together naturally. Our mutual closeness to our family and friends, our love of the same things in life, and I fell I love with her nature. She was always so nurturing of everyone, including me.

How have you kept your relationship strong all these years? Ros: Togetherness. We have done so much together as a family and still do. We have three lovely children who are so much a part of our relationship. Now we just enjoy all that our children have brought into our life, especially our five granddaughters, our extended family and our friends. Jonny: Our relationship has never wavered. Shared responsibility, praise and support have kept us close and strong as we created a life together. Also always having things we love doing both individually and together has kept our relationship strong.

What advice do you have for young couples? Ros: Be 100 per cent caring of each other and honest. If a problem does arise, learn to compromise a bit. All problems will, sooner than later, sort themselves out. Don’t go to bed without a goodnight kiss. Don’t be scared to apologise. Jonny and I never leave home without saying goodbye and giving each other a kiss. Jonny: A happy marriage is something brought about by joint responsibility, family and great friends. Solve problems quickly and together, and above all, respect one another. When you get older and are retired and kids are raised, it’s important to have hobbies and interests, both individual and together. Ros goes to the gym, plays cards with friends, does aquarobics and is always cooking up a storm. I love to paint, collect stamps, and create children’s books for my grandkids. Together we love to take walks, go on travel adventures, spend time with family and friends, and we just like being together … going to sit in Centennial Park to relax and hold hands. We hold hands wherever we go.

What is marriage to you? Ros: Marriage is a life of sharing the good and the bad; a partnership of going through all stages together in happy harmony. It’s the joy of life together and with a close-knit family. Jonny: Ros and I have had 60+ years together—it is love, friendship, support and security. There’s nothing greater than memories of all the good times, hard times, sad times and wonderful times in our life and the amazing examples from our parents. From our marriage has come three children, five granddaughters, two grandsons-in-law, and we hope to see some great grandchildren very soon. We do not know any other or better way of life.

Credits

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Carly Tia