When you first meet Cecily and Terry MacKenzie, it’s easy to see how comfortable they are with each other.
And they should be. The Mission couple have been married for more than 55 years. They have experienced a lot together over the decades, and the secret to their long relationship is an easy one.
“You have to remember that not every day is a good day and that you love them every day, but some days you like them better than others,” Cecily said.
Terry, 80, was born in Mission in 1939 and drove a truck for more than 50 years.
Cecily, 76, on the other hand, was born in Saskatchewan and moved to Dewdney in 1955. Her family came to B.C. because her father suffered from asthma and doctors thought the wetter climate would help him.
Cecily and Terry first met thanks to Terry’s cousin.
“My cousin had a party, a teenage party, and that’s how I met her,” Terry said.
Cecily was there with someone else, but it was obvious to Terry that she didn’t want to be there.
“So I took her away,” he said.
“He rescued me,” added Cecily.
Despite his noble effort, the two did not begin dating right away.
“I lived on a farm and my father was ill in the hospital at the time. I was staying at home to help my mother on the farm. And I couldn’t go out because there was too much work to do.”
But the two ran into each other again.
“He invited me to go for a Sunday drive. Those were the days when I had to have it approved by my father.”
Cecily’s dad thought Terry was a little old for his daughter (she was 18 and Terry was 22), but permitted them to go on the drive as long as they were back by 4 p.m.
While a drive sounds like a nice first date, Terry had another motive.
“I had to go pay my grub bill at the cafe,” he said with a laugh, so he took Cecily with him on the errand.
The couple continued to date but had to wait three years before they got married, because Cecily had to be 21. Her father insisted that she be of legal age.
Once married, they began a life together. They rented a house in Abbotsford for a whopping $35 a month.
The couple raised three children – a daughter, now 54, and two sons, ages 53 and 47.
They also have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
“Children are wonderful because we were young when we had our children so we were able to grow with them, do things with them and have loads of fun with them.
“Responsibility-wise, grandchildren are great because you can love them and send them home,” Cecily said.
“Spoil them and send them home,” Terry said.
However, Cecily said you never stop worrying about them.
“And when they get a spouse, that spouse becomes part of your family because it’s not blood that makes a family, it’s love,” she said.
The couple have been retired for years and enjoy taking their trailer up to Hope to spend the summer.
They also frequently visit the Mission Seniors Activity Centre. Cecily enjoys playing cards, especially cribbage.
“We also both enjoy people. Terry’s not a card player but he enjoys the chit-chat and the folks that come here.”
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Terry says they still celebrate the occasion, but he’s not sure if he’ll buy her a gift.
“It depends how good she is,” he said.
“When you get to our age, material things aren’t that important. We don’t buy presents for each other anymore. We spend time together. We’ll go out for dinner.”