It was Tolstoy who wrote that all happy families are the same; all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. One might add, in less literary and philosophical, more mundane terms, all of us have to deal with our own circumstances.
In our case, Rob’s and mine, a relationship that started ten years ago in Johannesburg has had to find a way through the perils and pitfalls of a long-drawn out and painful divorce, difficult enough for me but in some ways more difficult, I suspect, for Rob, who despite the odds remained committed and positive throughout; through the strains of a long distance relationship; and through the upheavals of relocation, in her case, to South Africa, and in mine, to Canada.
That we have survived this all, and that our relationship is stronger now than ever, says something, I think, about now and the future. There are challenges ahead, no doubt about it, but I like to think that we are about as well-equipped as we could be.
We remind ourselves, too: this is not just about being prepared to take on the challenges of ageing, the possibilities of adversity – it’s about taking what we have, seeing it for the gift that it is, and living it to the full.
How much easier, to do this together: how lucky we are, going forward!