In 1973, my Dad put his money on the horse Red Rum on that year’s Grand National. He was cheering when the horse crossed the finishing line in first place. He used his winnings to pay entrance to get a dance hall in Aberfeldy where he was up for the weekend. It was there that he saw my Mum – also up for the weekend – who he had always fancied (according to her).
Apparently he proposed on the bus after three months. He can’t remember this. They were married four years later. They’ve been together for forty years.
My Mum calls him darling and rushes to the door when he’s comes home after he’s been away. She misses him desperately when she goes on holiday without him.
My Dad does his impression of the Lone Ranger for her on request. He also tells his joke:
What did Hitler say to his tank officers before sending them off to war.
Alright boys, in yer tanks.
I don’t get it either. But it makes her laugh until she cries.
They sit together on the couch at night and watch their favourite shows together.
I caught them sunning themselves in the back garden as they are prone to do. She’s sitting in the folding chair with her goofy straw hat. He’s lying on the grass beside her. Both grinning inanely as they chat.
After forty years, they still make each other laugh. They still make each other happy. They are still a team. Still friends.
That’s what I want.