For Jane and Roger Brown of Midland, Ontario, first love lasted a lifetime
Jane (MA 1952): I asked Roger to a high school Sadie Hawkins dance in the fall of 1946. He said that he wasn’t sure because he and his family sometimes went away on weekends, but I think he was holding out for a better offer. He let me stew for a few days and then said yes.
After we graduated from U of T, Roger found work as an engineer and I taught home economics. Then I stayed home with our adopted children. We brought home our first child, Diane, at nine months. When she was two, the adoption agency asked us to take a two-year-old boy. We had hoped for a baby, but we decided to meet Richard and when they brought this little guy in, he wanted to get right up on Roger’s knee. A year-and-a-half later, we welcomed Carol at 10 days old.
Over the years, Roger has had a lot of medical issues we’ve had to get through. He’s had a couple of brain tumours, lung cancer and diabetes. Our strong Christian faith has helped us; we believe in the power of prayer. Recently, Roger moved into an assisted-living residence and living apart hasn’t been easy. But he has settled in nicely, and I enjoy visiting him every afternoon.
Roger (BASc 1952): During my first year, I was at the Ajax campus and Jane was at Whitney Hall on main campus. Every Saturday, I would hitchhike to see her. We would spend the day going to football games and eating our meals together. Once we had a late night at a U of T dance in Ajax and I took Jane home. The timing of the train made it impossible for her to be there by 2:30 a.m. closing, so I was given the key to the women’s residence – which I probably waved around a little.
Over the years, we shared a love of boating, but we’re too old now. Jane was just reading me our ship’s log, all about where we’ve been and what we saw. She would navigate for me – and Jane was a very good navigator – because I’m colour-blind and I couldn’t tell whether the buoys were red or green. We ended up on the rocks once because of that.
In July, we’ll be married for 59 years. We just love each other and we manage to agree on more things than we disagree on. We’ve had a good life.