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Forty years – where has it gone?

Readers' letters | Published:

We attended a family get-together, the wife and I, a birthday celebration of a grandchild. All the usual suspects were there, and as I mingled, I was aware that we were the oldest folk – granddad and nana – the butt of all the oldie jokes, and constant attention of the grandchildren.

Birthday cake

While our offspring and their partners swapped family gossip, the wife shot me a glance that conveyed decades of meaning, a wry smile, a look that said it all, then it hit me. In a few months time we will have been married 40 years, our ruby anniversary.

Forty years, where has the time gone, what happened to that little elfin-faced girl that took me on all those years ago? Now a mother of six, and a grandmother of seven, queen of all she surveys, especially at family get-togethers, while I am relegated to playground duties in the garden, being run ragged by excited infants.

Forty years, what have we achieved? Now that they are all grown into good solid citizens, all making their own way in this crazy world, I suppose it’s a safe haven in their formative years, a base to return to when life gets on top of them, always a seat at the table, and a shoulder to cry on, knowing that mum and pops are always there.

Framed on our living room wall is an old black and white photograph of me as a baby, one year old, in the arms of my great grandfather, taken in 1951, I took the hand of my grandson five years old, and showed it to him and said, “That is your great great great grandfather, he was born in 1876, five years before the gunfight at the OK Corral, 12 years before the Jack The Ripper murders, no telephones, planes, TV, cars, internet, atomic power, no tower bridge”.

The lad looked bemused, and I can only hope that when he is a grandfather, he will show his grandson his legacy, that I think above all else is what 40 years has achieved, a link from my world, to my grandchildren’s world.

Tony Levy

Wednesfield

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