Love is patient, love is kind, and true love, it can last a lifetime.
For 68 years James and Julia Krawiec have laughed, loved and treasured their life together. Their memories spread over years of love and happiness as their marriage, and their family, continued to grow.
Julia, 88, was born in Poland in 1929. Nine years later, in 1938, she came with her family to Canada. That same year, at the age of 14, James also travelled to Canada from Poland with his family.
Julia’s family settled in Glendon, while not too far away, James was spending his years on a farm just outside of Bonnyville in Dupuis. Little did they know, years down the road they would meet, and their lives would change forever.
When Julia was 20 and James 25, both were in separate relationships. After a chance meeting, the pair realized theirs was a love that only comes once in a lifetime.
Julia was at a show with her boyfriend, when James, who will never admit it, stole her glove so he could see her again.
“I was at the show with somebody the first time (we met). He grabbed my glove… and the next time we went (to the show), he had the glove for me,” described Julia. “That is how I knew he liked me.”
James claims she dropped her glove, and he was returning it to her, but to this day, Julia vows he had taken it intentionally.
“She dropped it on purpose,” James teased. “I just picked it up.”
After about six months of dating, on Oct. 27, 1948, they were married at James’ family farm in Dupuis. It wasn’t long before they moved into their first home in Anshaw.
The house had been previously owned by H.E. Bourgoin, a teacher in the Bonnyville area. Using what little they had, they turned that small log house into a home.
Julia said they chose Anshaw because of its proximity to Bonnyville, just one train stop away.
At the time of their wedding, Julia was working at the St. Louis Hospital in Bonnyville. She was provided living quarters and three meals a day, making $40 a month. After they married, she left her position at the hospital.
“There was lots of work needed (to the house) to live in it,” she recalled.
The Krawiec’s didn’t own much, just what was given to them at their wedding, but they were resourceful.
“(James) made me a table, he made me a bench on the side, and I guess we had either a barrel or something for sitting, no chairs though… nothing like that. It was different,” Julia said.
Throughout their marriage, James worked for the MD of Bonnyville and for Provincial Parks. Over the years, they had four daughters, who still live in the area.
“They come to see us, because the furthest one is only about eight miles away,” noted Julia.
They also have seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The Krawiec’s currently live in the Bonnylodge, in a homey room where they are happy to be together. When James was no longer able to live at home, he told doctors he refused to live without Julia. So they compromised and settled on a room at the lodge.
“He said in the hospital if I don’t come, he won’t come,” laughed Julia.
Patience, forgiveness, and love are what has kept this marriage alive for so many years, the couple said.
Julia chuckled, “There has to be a lot of patience.”