Every day?s a blessing for us
By EVAN SCHWARTEN
SHE was a quiet marching band girl, he was a self-confessed "bodgie'' with loud clothes and a passion for practical jokes.
So when Maurie Burkhardt met Val Doyle at a dance in 1957 who would have thought they were destined to be together.
They married at St Joseph's Cathedral in 1960 and celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
However, with Maurie now terminally ill with lung cancer the couple fear this may be their last anniversary together.
"It makes it even more special, when we wake up every day it's a blessing,'' Val said.
Unfortunately, Maurie's illness is just one of many challenges the family have had to face over the years; they lost daughter Kerry-Ann to cancer at age 24 while son Michael battled rheumatic fever at just seven years of age.
Thankfully Maurie and Val have been able to pull through all these tragedies together and have maintained "a very loving relationship''.
"You've just got to value what you've got, it doesn't matter how small it is, you've got to appreciate it,'' Maurie said.
Maurie worked as a printer at The Morning Bulletin for 36 years before retiring in 2002 and the couple say while working nearly every night created some hurdles for the family they wouldn't change anything.
"I worked night shift for 36 years and still managed to have four wonderful children and six precious grandchildren,'' Maurie said.
"We never had a lot of money but we had a lot of love,'' Val added.