Ninety-five-year-old Violet Kosinski is hobbling around a ward at Ridge Meadows Hospital, after breaking her hip last week.
Meanwhile, her 98-year-old husband, Roy, is going a little stir crazy in their 600-square-foot room at the Wesbrooke retirement home in Pitt Meadows – confined, as a precaution, due to the coronavirus.
The pair hadn’t been planning any big celebration for their 76th wedding anniversary yesterday (April 29), but they had at least expected to spend it together.
Now, the couple must be content to mark the anniversary of their wartime nuptials via FaceTime – a technology not surprisingly foreign to the elderly pair, explained their daughter Barb Serr.
“You couldn’t get more complicated if we tried,” Serr said, eternally grateful to the nursing staff at both health care facility and the social support workers who are going to be helping make this couple’s connection on Wednesday possible.
“They haven’t seen each other for a week, and Dad is very concerned and anxious to know that Mom is really okay,” said the eldest of two Kosinski siblings. “He needs to see for himself.”
Initially, the hope was to have a large family dinner to mark their anniversary. The couple has two children, six grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and now a great-great grandchild.
But, with the arrival of COVID and the necessity for self-isolating, that became impossible. Maybe, Serr said, a family gathering can be planned once the dangers of the pandemic are quelled.
Asked what it’s like to celebrate such a milestone anniversary, Violet said: “We celebrated so many of them, it doesn’t seem like anything different.”
But admittedly, this one is very different, Serr interjected, since they won’t be able to actually celebrate together.
This couple was married in Winnipeg in 1944, six months after they met at a community barn dance that Violet admittedly didn’t even want to attend.
As if it was yesterday, Violet recounted how she came in and spotted a Canadian air force mechanic huddled by the woodstove trying to stay warm. He captivated her and the rest was history.
“I looked over, and he looked over, and that was it… We danced for the rest of the night,” Violet said.
Reflecting back on their life together, and what got them through, both agree “a good sense of humour,” has been essential.
“Nobody can live that long without an argument once in a while,” Roy added. “But, you get over that and carry on.”
Their lengthy love story continues to inspire Serr.
“They have been through polio, Scarlett fever, the Second World War – of which dad is a veteran – and now this. Still able to laugh, tell a joke, and of course [share] so many wonderful stories,” Serr said. “It’s quite something to be together for 76 years… This is a wonderful story of love and sorrow and always a shining smile through their life adventures.”
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