Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a special day for couples as they express their love, but for Ed and Midori Kozuki every day is Valentine’s Day for them.
The Kozukis have been familiar faces around Williams Lake almost all their lives since the late 1940s to early 1950s. Ed came to the area in 1942 and growing up he developed a love of the community that still shines brightly to this day. Midori, meanwhile, moved to Williams Lake around 1959 to be a teacher where she met and befriended Ed, then an electrician, which he would work as for the rest of his professional career.
When asked how they met, Midori giggled while Ed remarked that Williams Lake, then more so than now, is a pretty small town so you’d run into people you know wherever you are. Midori believes it was Ed’s mother and her parents who may have had a hand in it by doing a little matchmaking with the young couple. Whatever the case may have been, the two felt drawn to each other and began hanging out with one another at parties and other social events.
“Then we decided, well, we might have loved each other,” Ed remarked with a chuckle.
When asked what they initially saw in one another Ed immediately declared it was because Midori was cute which drew a laugh out of her. When he asked her what she saw in him she laughed some more and remarked Ed was “pretty nice” at the dinners his parents would invite her over to.
Ed and Midori got married in 1962 and will be celebrating their 58th anniversary together this year. What followed was a rich lifetime’s worth of experiences of all kinds that can’t be condensed into a single article.
“The time has gone so quickly, we’ve got three children and we got involved with their activities scouting, figure skating, soccer and school activities,” Midori said.
Ed agreed and said that one thing that always remained the same throughout the decades is that they both enjoyed spending time with one another and doing things together. While adjustments may have to be made from time to time, Ed feels the key to their happiness has often been being on the same page about everything they do, from parenting to extensive volunteering.
One of those adjustments was when Midori had to put her teaching career on hold to care for their eldest daughter, Janis, who was diagnosed with autism, to become a stay at home mom. Ed said that it was during times like this where the success of their relationship during hard times was as much thanks to the community and familial support they received as it was down to them.
“We always found time for love along the way and supporting and nurturing each other. It’s always been a good feeling,” Ed mused.
He admitted ruefully that sometimes his ideas for “new adventures” they could go on were a “bit off the wall” and left Midori shaking her head at him, but he hopes she enjoyed most of them all the same. Midori concurred with a soft laugh that he’s a very adventurous man and she often went along with him for the ride. To this day, Midori said, Ed still snowboards and gives lessons on the sport despite the fact they’re both now 82 years of age, which is something that’s great to see.
“Every day is another exciting day for us, just to be together,” Ed added with a smile.
As a far as advice to other couples go, Midori said it helps to have respect for one another and be a good listener. Being supportive is also important, Ed said, and both feel leading an active life is important, too.
“The more you give the more you receive” is a philosophy both subscribe to, be it in marriage or every day life.
This Valentine’s Day, the Kozukis will be enjoying a luncheon with friends followed by dinner at home with their nightly glass of wine and a fine dessert. Ed remarked, however, that to them every day is Valentine’s Day as they always strive to care for one another.
“Plain and simple but filled with gratitude for our health, family and friends,” Midori said.