Ode to 60 Years of Marriage

Twenty five years have been and gone,
Then fifty came around.
Now it’s sixty years of true devotion,
An achievement to be proud!

We look back in admiration,
Of the losses you had to bear,
As you parted from friends and family,
For a better life elsewhere.

Arriving in Australia,
To a culture of carefree living,
With a language difficult to master,
And a climate unforgiving.

In jest and ridicule were you betrayed,
In your many attempts and persistence,
To speak and learn this new language better,
Which at first made little difference.

Despite the negativity,
You had one goal in mind,
To secure a home for your family,
Which you were determined to find.

After some moving from place to place,
And tough times along the way,
You remained steadfast in your dreams,
And eventually came the day.

When you finally arrived in a far out town,
A long way from Albert Park,
To a little place called Warrandyte,
Where you settled and made a start.

From precious little your hard work began,
To create the best for us all.
We often wonder how you managed,
As it must have been quite a struggle.

You have experienced so much in your life,
Things we could never comprehend,
We cannot fully understand the war,
And the hardships this inflicted ‘til the end.

Not only have you lived through such times,
You then moved to an unknown place,
Where opportunities you truly believed,
Would be easier to embrace.

Although sometimes it was a challenge,
As you had four daughters to raise,
You never wavered in your duty as parents,
And were always ready to praise.

We rarely caught a glimpse of disagreements,
Or bore witness to your worries and stress,
You made sure we never went without,
And filled our home with love and kindness.

You seldom thought about yourselves,
Placing others needs before your own,
Your wish was to give your girls,
A life we could not bemoan.

As if you had not enough to do already,
You made time for others in need,
The fact they were not always family,
Were honorable gestures indeed.

But that is our Mum and Dad all over,
Never asking for anything in return,
Overflowing with generosity of spirit,
Humbly grateful for everything they earned.

Then your daughters grew up and married,
They had children of their own,
Some of these children now have children,
And your family has truly grown.

We may not always have thanked you,
And our appreciation never waned,
Without fail you loyally supported us,
Even when our mistakes were to blame.

We thank you now for all the pain and sacrifices,
You have shouldered for us over the years,
We appreciate every effort you made,
And more clearly understand your tears.

There must have been moments of frustration,
And times of discomfort and despair.
You survived every setback and with stoic pride,
You still showed us how much you cared.

We feel your deep respect for one another,
And can see your strong bond in life,
You may not always openly show your love,
But it’s there – as parents, husband and wife.

No one can dare accuse you of selfishness,
Or of not trying your very best,
You have continually done far and beyond,
What would have been done by the rest.

Look back with pride on all your achievements,
And the incredible distance you have traveled.
Many would have faltered well before now,
Taking the path in life’s journey you have followed.

© Brenda Aksionov 2007

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