In this day and age it is a rare couple who not only persist with 40 years of marriage but still genuinely love and respect each other. I am very proud to be one of the children of such a marriage.
On Thanksgiving Day 1965 Martha and Norman were married in St Louis, Missouri. Martha wore a white silk pseudo-double-breasted mini dress with rhinestone buttons, a satin bow with small veil and satin kitten-heeled slingback shoes. Norman wore a suit. Both look radiantly happy in the black and white photographs.
By their first anniversary, they had moved to Winnepeg, Mannitoba, Canada, and were awaiting my immanent birth. Martha wore an orange knit dress for Halloween, and I poked her bellybutton out like the stem of a giant pumpkin. No one remembers what Norman wore. (Before my mother's influence Norman was apparently reknowned for his startling dress 'sense' and unusual colour combinations but thankfully by the time I attained fashion consciousness he was more or less under colour-control).
My brother followed 18 months later (he had some cute clothes including a mini-baseball suit), and another international emigration to New Zealand soon after, and over the years mum and dad celebrated their anniversary in many different countries. Today they are lunching at the Willowglen in the Waikato. If you see them there, please offer your congratulations.
PS As today is not only this auspicious anniversary, but also International Buy Nothing Day, I am not buying them a gift, though I believe they deserve no less than their weight in rubies. Instead I am making a very special custom-made gift, which is still in production and thus will arrive late, in the grand family tradition of Very Belated Gift Giving.