Ebb & Flow: A Story that Spans Decades, Continents and Wars
It is a story that spans decades, continents and even wars.
It is a story of ebbs and flows.
It is the story of my grandparents:
The ones you see in the photo here. (My favourite picture of them.)
They were childhood sweethearts:
They met in the 1920s/30s.
She was 13, and he was 15.
And they agreed there and then:
They had destiny together.
He finished his training as a Homeopath.
She finished her training as a Nurse.
He went off to India in 1937.
She stayed back in England.
Then the war started.
And he was stranded in India for a while.
It was his destiny to be there.
But not without her by his side.
So he managed to get back to England… by boat.
He became the sole Chaplain of a whole convoy of ships.
Ships that travelled together to be safer in the war.
Escorted back home by the Navy.
For protection, in case of attack.
When he landed in England, it was in a dark part of the night.
There were no roadsigns, even.
All of them had been taken down because of the war.
He didn’t know where precisely in England he was.
For some time.
He ventured blind through various villages.
He was in Scotland!
So he made his way down to London by train.
Following his heart back to her.
There were no phones then.
He wasn’t able to let her know he would be turning up.
And to her delight, there he was: on her doorstep.
Just in time for Christmas day that year.
She always said:
It was the best Christmas gift ever ever ever.
They married soon after - in 1943 - and spent a whole lifetime serving the Christian mission in India together.
Along came my mum and her siblings, and endless, epic, sweeping challenges and trials and adventures in India and Malaysia like you never hear about in modern day love stories.
And I love that.
I love to hear about those stories.
Being a language lover… there is a tiny little thing I love most about their destiny together.
It is this:
His name was Ebenezer. Family name, Orchard.
Her name was Ethel Flora. Family name, Lampard.
They sometimes called him Ebb.
They sometimes called her Flo.
And they were - still are - lovingly known in just that way:
“Ebb & Flow”. 💛
P.S. I am quite sure I haven’t done my grandparents’ love story justice here. But I was inspired to share this today after reading Jackie Das’s heartwarming post from today. Go read. It is lovely. Thanks Jackie.
Also: Here’s wishing you great love today and always, no matter whether you’re in an ebb or flow of your life. ✨
@ Margi Kulsoom Orchard 🙋🏻♀️🤗