July 14th 1981
“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Jacob, Happy Birthday to you.” sung Grace Adams and her partner George Petersen. “Happy Birthday my love, me and your dad love you very much.” Grace continued.
It was a day of celebration in the household, as Grace and George’s son, Jacob celebrated his 13th birthday. Jacob was the couples only child, one they had when Grace was just four months from her eighteenth birthday. Grace and George had met at school and had practically grown up with one another, firstly as pre-school friends before their friendship became more than that, with the pairs relationship beginning at 15. Ever since then they had never left one another's side. Grace’s family disowned her when she announced she was having Jacob, disgusted that firstly she would be entering sexual relations before marriage, let alone keeping the child.
Grace moved in with George and began living at his parents house in the town of District Six, seven months before she was due to give birth to their son. The house was cramped, as many were in the town, but with an extra two people now living in the house, the living room was converted into the young families bedroom. Despite the tight squeeze, the household was one full of love and happiness, something Grace had rarely experienced in her own home. It was something Grace had always envied of George, two loving parents and a home full of warmth. For Grace, she’d always had to defend for herself and very rarely had the support of her parents.
When Jacob was just two, George’s father fell ill. Having spent most of his life working in mines, he began developing respiratory issues, and with a lack of money, the family couldn’t give him the medical attention that was needed. A few months after being diagnosed with silicosis, he sadly passed away in his home. The death caused great hurt to the family, in particular, George’s mother, Patricia. Having been married for over 37 years, she remembered very little without him and she fell into a depressive state. Only two years after George’s father’s death, Patricia passed away too.
With both parents passing away within two years, the family was rocked. For George it was tough, the close love and support he had always had from his parents was suddenly taken from him within a matter of years. Grace tried to help, but the first months of losing them, George would barely speak. With all the bad going on in the country his parents had always been there to tell him everything would be ok. Now he had to do the same for his son. Now ten years on from his mother's passing, George still missed them but the love he felt from his parents had been replaced by the love he had from and for his son.
Jacob was growing up to be the young man that George and Grace could have only dreamt of bringing up and both of them were beyond proud of him. Having struggled for years, George and Grace had also grown in their relationship finding more and more love for one another. With George’s happiness at a high, he knew it was the right time.
“Happy Birthday son, we do love you.” George said before turning to Grace, “I also love you. The lady who has been in my life longer than anyone, the one person I can trust with anything and everything. The person who was there for me when my parents passed and still never stopped loving me despite how hard I was to love.”
With that George got down onto one knee “Grace Adams, would you do me the honour of being my wife?”.