We were married and within three months started our family. I remember my wife’s excitement, unrestrained, her hand shaking as she showed me the little blue circle in the bottom of the test tube, evidence of our first child. I remember how she cried, but didn’t want to, turning her face so I couldn’t see. My memory of this event has not been dulled by the ensuing forty five years.
The following years were to usher in five more children. Bright, inquisitive, courageous, and as teenagers at times dammed foolish, so is the habit of all teenagers. As with all parents we nursed them through colds, bad dreams and broken hearts, guided them through their tragedies and triumphs, shared with them the joys and pitfalls of life.
“Jim, do you remember the day James fell over the bank at mums place?” “No, can’t say as I do. “Yes you do, I went barrelling after him, and you just stood there with your mouth open.” I laughed and replied, “That’s right” “Carol, do you remember William up that tree in the back of Russel’s house?” “Vaguely” “It was a forty foot spruce, William was three, and at the very top swinging back and forth.” “O god yes!” So went our conversation for the next hour, both prompting each other’s memories. That is the one of the treasures of a couple that have been together for forty five years, the collective memory. The collective memory only possesses value when you are with your spouse. I fully understood this four years ago to the day, the day I requested a legal separation.