Love and the Lancaster Bomber

Barb Taub, over at barbtaub.com, wrote a lovely, humorous piece about how she and her husband of 40 years, met. It had me smiling as I remembered how my parents met. So, I promised her I would regal you with their story.

Whenever people ask about how my parents first met, I start by saying that my mother picked my father up in a bar. That usually gets everyone laughing. Including my mother. But things were only slightly different.

If you would first allow me to put their story into context. The year is 1945. World War II is over and servicemen are returning home from the war. Picture if you would an Avro Lancaster heavy bomber flying not very far over Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The young men inside were celebrating having won a World War so they thought that they would give the people of this downtown neighbourhood a bit of a thrill. They took their heavy bombers and flew low as if they were making a strafing run. (shooting bullets at people on the ground) The people in the offices got quite a thrill that day! Their next stop was to do the same run, on farmers’ fields. That didn’t go over quite as well. When they handed over their planes, they found fencing materials wrapped around the wheels. The commander was not well pleased. They were told later that the cows stopped giving milk for a week.

During that time there were canteens or coffee shops set up where returning military could get a cuppa coffee, a sandwich and perhaps a conversation with a pretty lady.  In the evenings my mother was one of many women who was working as a hostess. It was a way to thank the service men for their service and welcome them back into civilian society.  As my mother was making the rounds and chatting with everyone, she noticed someone that she recognized. She went over to the table with two young men in uniform, sat down, introduced herself and said to one of the young men “Are you Norm  . . .?” He replied in the negative but the three of them struck up a conversation. ‘Norm’ asked my mother out on a date and she agreed. After a few dates they parted amicably.

   

Short time after that my mother was walking in downtown Winnipeg and ran into the second man she had met at the table. They had a long conversation that day and then they started to date. Another week goes by and the young man is greeted on the street by his brother who asks why he has not been home to see his mother since he is now back from the war. He didn’t tell my mother that part.

Many years later even more of the story unfolded. My father was regaling his family about his bomber run on downtown Winnipeg. It was at that point my mother stated that she was one of the people in the window watching his plane go by!

They were married for 58 years and were true partners. They completed each other. My mother was a social butterfly and my father was a wanna be hermit. But his job as a salesman succeeded in large part to his partner. In those days clients were entertained in a salesman’s home. Deals were made on golf courses. It was a much more intimately social time.

When my parents married, my mother admitted that she didn’t know how to cook. My father simply handed her a cookbook and said if you can read, you can cook. He bolstered her confidence when she didn’t believe in herself and she provided the social outlet that my father found so difficult. I read once that a good relationship is 60/40.  Some days you would give 60% some days you would give 40% and a good partner would pick up the slack. That was my mom and dad. And those dinner parties my parents would throw for his clients? My mother’s cooking ended up being a highlight!

My father died 62 years after he met my mother. He always maintained that he was a better person with her. And she believed she was too. I grew up surrounded by love, laughter and common sense. My parents let me make my own mistakes and never judged. They were always nearby when I needed them and they gave the best hugs ever!

And one more interesting fact for those who believe in such things. My father was in the hospital for five days before he died. My mother was in bed for five days before she died, five years after my father did. I grew up in a family of five. Spooky? My parents would see the humour.

The image of the Lancaster is from istockphoto.com.

32 thoughts on “Love and the Lancaster Bomber

  1. Jennie

    Awww…that was a wonderful tribute to your parents. How many couples can say they complement and make each other a better person? I love the two very different stories of the plane.

    Liked by 2 people

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  2. Annika Perry

    A wonderful story about your parents and how they met, lived their lives! It is a real gift in life to meet that other person that completes you … a most special couple and amazing parents too! An uplifting and heartwarming post!

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. Sun Hesper Jansen

    I loved this so much; it reminded me of my grandparents who were 75 years together. And yeah when it comes to couples like this, I absolutely believe the eerie!

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Murphy's Law

    Perfect tribute to two people you were lucky to be able to call Mom and Dad! Their relationship was special indeed. It’s easy to see where you come by your sense of humor and adventure, common sense and respect/tolerance for others…..not to mention good looks! Your mom and dad had the parenting thing down pat!

    Enjoy those awesome memories my friend.
    Ginger

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. pensitivity101

    Lovely story Pam. My childhood sounds very much like yours with loving parents allowing me to make my own mistakes, never saying I told you so, and always there to help pick up the pieces, especially my Dad. They were married for almost 46 years, my Dad passing away the day after my 40th birthday, and Mum three years ago tomorrow. As for the Lancaster, when we first moved to Lincolnshire we were just 2 miles from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight base and the only flying Lancaster at the time flew regularly over our house. Sadly we weren’t in the county when the Canadian Lancaster joined the British one and flew in tandem.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. K.L. Hale

    This touched my heart ❤️ there are so many things I’d like to reference in your post, but simply, what a wonderful legacy of love they left. And what a beautiful childhood for you! I love this post with laughs and love, Pam. ❤️♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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