By Della Cocquyt – Melita, Man.
Wedding bells rang twice for us – the first time was on our wedding day, April 4, 1964 in Fort Frances, Ont.
After a 10-day honeymoon to Niagara Falls, we settled on Larry’s parents’ home, about 10 miles from Melita. We lived there for 47 years before retiring to town.
In 1962, I, then Delia Cayer, met Larry in Winnipeg. We were working in two different offices, Larry for Success College and I for Ducks Unlimited.
Lucky for us we both lived in the same block, Larry shared his apartment suite on the third floor with his cousin Ron Carels from Deloraine, and I in the basement apartment with three of my high school friends from Emo and Fort Frances, Sharon Strachan, Lois Alexander, and Irene Lambert. They were attending Success College.
Larry always wanted to farm, so I said yes and didn’t know anything about farming.
The first few years were challenging – new faces, becoming parents to four lovely daughters within seven years, and learning a new farmer’s language “bring lunch to the north quarter,” what’s a quarter section look like and where, or “pick me up at Simpson half,” (some long ago homestead name) – all foreign to me.
The first solo trip to town for groceries was scary. The 10 miles going there was okay because the country was flat and we could see the grain elevators and water tower from the farm, but returning was confusing. Where to turn, how far to go, it seemed so far and I was afraid to ask for directions because everyone knows the new bride but she doesn’t. We’ve had many laughs through the ups and downs of farm life.
When one of Larry’s curling buddies, Mel Lee of Waskada, Man. was getting married in Winnipeg, we were looking forward to a getaway after 14 years of marriage. As we were driving the 200-mile trek I mentioned that I’d like a gold wedding band as I felt my beautiful diamonds were becoming well used. We went shopping, found one, and thought it was such nice Christmas gift.
The wedding was gorgeous with lots of poinsettias, music, and candles, giving the church a warm glow. When Mel and Sharon exchanged vows, wedding bells rang again for us. To my surprise Larry reached into his pocket and slipped the gold band on my right ring finger. As tears flowed, we too said “I do.”
The diamonds have never been off, nor the gold band. What profound meaning the second ring has for us, a date we’ll always remember, Nov. 28, 1978.