I follow Cresting the Hill where Leanne writes about midlife and empty nests.  Her posts are entertaining and inspiring, especially for me, as I’m just about over ‘midlife’ and have had an empty nest for a long time.

Browsing through her blog I came across “First (Middle) and Last – My Man”.  Here Leanne shared with us her life in pictures and her wonderful marriage.  First – how they met and married soon afterwards, (Middle) 15 years later with growing children and now Last – empty nest and middle life.

Although I was not one of those lucky ones with a life-long partner, her post made me think of my parents.   My father often joked he never considered divorce, “but murder often”, they were married for 61 years.


My mom was a nurse when she met my dad after he was injured in a serious motorcycle accident.  She worked in his ward and found every excuse under the sun to attend to his needs while he lay incapacitated, healing from a broken hip.


My Dad always joked, ” it’s an accident I never recovered from!!”

Nurse -
Dad in his youth
Engaged in 1952
Wedding Day


Soon after their marriage, my father took his young wife to  Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).  It was here where all five children were born – four girls and a boy.

My Dad then moved his family to South Africa where we grew up, and eventually flew the nest.





When Dad retired,  Mom maintained she was now on a permanent honeymoon.  Every morning they went walking and every Wednesday they visited a nature reserve to picnic together.


They also explored South Africa and visited America and England for the first time.


Mom and Dad

According to my mom, Retirement = Permanent Honeymoon

In 2014 my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.    All five children, along with seven grandchildren, great-children aswell as spouses and partners were there.  No one was missing.



Their marriage was one made in heaven and a legacy left for their children to be proud of.


Click here to read a related post Yellow-billed Kites and a competition with my Father




  1. Jim

    As one of the siblings and only boy between the four girls i can only say that I am extremely grateful for having been raised in a loving family by caring parents. My sister said in her eulogy that the best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother and that Dad did so well. Thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you Cheryl

  2. Carol-Ann

    I so enjoyed reading this – especially as I know the story so well. Brought back beautiful memories of a carefree childhood with our “other” parents and family. We were so lucky to live next door to you guys. Dad’s sister (Aunty Shelagh), Uncle John and our cousins … to be to able to run through a hole in the hedge between our two homes. Sad that it all came to a sudden end in 1965 when us Leaders moved to South Africa, followed shortly afterwards by you Dalys. Very grateful for those wonderful early days and our special family bond … even after all these years. ❤

  3. Tami King

    Beautiful advice for all of us!!

  4. Jeff leader

    This is a lovely idea Cheryl. If you put the names on some of the photos it would be a great record for anyone doing a family tree.

  5. Sharon caldeira

    Oh, Cheryl, I love Uncle John and Aunty Sheilagh’s love story. That photo of the 7 of you in Zambia brought back such awesome memories. We were continuously climbing through the hedge or running around the back lane to be together. What a legacy they have left behind….

  6. Rosa

    Thanks for this I sure I read this, but did not comment not sure why, yes dad and mom had a wonderful love story. Miss them both so much. Thank you for sharing

    Love from your sister Rosalyn xx