So close, and yet so far . . .
Diane Moran and Ron Laidman were born 28 days apart in 1964 in Vancouver General Hospital.
They met at Kitsilano High School at 16, became friends, and then dated in their late teens.
At 18, they spent an idyllic weekend camping on Mayne Island.
Days later, Moran learned that she had been accepted into the Katimivik volunteer program. Two weeks later she left B.C. — and Ron.
That separation lasted for 24 years. And now, as Valentine’s Day approaches, they have a computer cupid to thank for bringing them together again.
Nine months after she returned from her Katimivik assignment, she returned to B.C. and enrolled at Vancouver Community College. Unknown to her, Laidman was also a student at VCC. His classes were on the lower level, hers on the upper. Their paths never crossed.
While they were going to VCC, they lived only 12 blocks from each other.
They eventually married others, but their marriages crumbled.
Then, in October, 2008, Moran was chatting with friends when Laidman’s name came up.
“I thought ‘I wonder what he’s up to’. “
On Oct. 10 that year, she turned her computer on to her Facebook page and typed in his name.
After Laidman responded, they talked endlessly on the phone before meeting again in person.
And when they met, the 24 years since they last saw each melted away.
The pair has no regrets, no thoughts about what might have been.
Those years “gave us both the time to grow and become the people we are,” Laidman said.
“This is the way it was intended to be,” Moran added.
Moran is a children’s programmer at a Lower Mainland recreation centre. She and her husband never had children. Laidman had two, Noah, 13, and Mercedez, 11.
When Moran came to live with him in his rural Aldergrove home, “she became an instant mom,” he said.
“It’s great because I never had children,” Moran said. “And it’s so easy with Ron because he’s a great dad. I could never be with a man who was not a stellar dad.”
Do they see their reunion as a second chance at love?
“Maybe it’s not so much a second chance, more a reconnection that was bound to happen,” Laidman said, adding, “It’s been very exciting to re-connect.
“It was easy, and it’s as though we were never apart.”
Moran added, “I think the universe was trying to get us back together for a long time.”
They have much in common, and even in their differences they have an easy way of making it work beautifully.
For instance, Moran is a passionate cook and, Laidman agrees, he’s equally passionate about cleaning up the mess she creates in the kitchen.
“We complete each other in every facet,” Laidman said.
Including their sentences.
“Our similarities are . . .” Moran starts.
“. . . uncanny,” her man replies.