Former Langley residents Diane Moran and Ron Laidman married Oct. 10, 2016 in Sooke. They were intitially profiled by the Langley Times in 2011.

Time, distance couldn’t keep husband and wife apart

A local couple are living proof that absence makes a heart grow fonder.

It’s a love that is truly meant to be.

On Oct. 10, 2016 — their eighth anniversary as a couple — Ron Laidman and Diane Moran were married.

But their story dates back further than eight years.

In fact, it covers decades — and thousands of miles.

First profiled by the Times in February, 2011, Diane and Ron were born 28 days apart in 1964 in Vancouver General Hospital.

They later met at Kitsilano High School at 16, and ended up dating in their late teens.

At 19, they spent an idyllic weekend camping on Mayne Island.

But days later, Diane was accepted into the Katimivik volunteer program, which fosters understanding, respect and reconciliation with indigenous peoples and with Canada’s other cultures, regions, and the environment.

Diane’s decision sparked a move that would have her leave B.C. — and Ron.

“I left rather abruptly,” Diane told the Times last week.

“We parted on really good terms but obviously in the ’80s there was no means of (electronic) communication, and phoning each other — because I was out east — was extremely expensive, so we kind of lost touch.”

The detour kept them apart for 24 years.

“We married other people and had completely separate lives,” Diane said.

But their respective marriages eventually ended.

Nine months after she returned from her Katimivik assignment, Diane returned to B.C. and enrolled at Vancouver Community College.

Unbeknownst to her, Ron 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.

But eight-and-a-half years ago, the power of technology once again brought them together.

In October 2008, Ron’s name had come up in conversation and that Thanksgiving, Diane sent him a note through Facebook.

“I asked him if he is the Ron Laidman who went to Kitsilano High School and, if so, did he remember Mayne Island and Diane Shukalak (Moran),” Diane shared.

They reconnected.

Once back in touch, their spark was undeniable.

They’ve been together ever since, and Diane is now stepmom to Noah, 19, and Mercedes, 17, Ron’s children from his previous marriage.

During their second courtship, Ron lived in Langley and Diane in New Westminster.

“At the time, he had horses and his kids… on the weekend, and he had all these responsibilities. He wanted to be with me so he would drive later in the evening and stay the night in New Westminster, and then have to go back and feed his animals (in Langley) before he even had to go to work,” Diane said.

“He did that for quite a while.”

They eventually moved in together in Langley and lived here for a couple of years before relocating to their current home in Port Coquitlam five years ago.

In August 2016 the couple went on a trip to the Sunshine Coast and, unbeknownst to Diane, Ron had plans other than just a romantic getaway.

“He was asking me to marry him,” Diane said. “I had no idea, he didn’t let on. It was something we had talked about off and on over the years. It was funny because he had the marriage licence with him at the time. He said ‘we’ve got three months.’”

Two months later, the couple stayed at Point No Point Resort in Sooke, and married at French Beach on Oct. 10.

Ron and Diane’s love story, about fate and serendipity, was set to music through a song Diane commissioned, and was created and performed by Katrina Kadoski a young musician and performer from Sooke.

“I… had Katrina write our song,” Diane said. “I provided some background of our story and she came up with the rest. On our wedding day I had Katrina ‘song bomb’ Ron at the Sooke Harbour House. He was stunned and very pleased our song will always hold a special place in our hearts thanks to Katrina.”

The wedding was the culmination of eight terrific years together, Diane said.

“Life doesn’t end just because what you thought was going to be your life, isn’t,” she said. “He’s my soulmate and we both know that.”

To celebrate Ron’s birthday in March, they plan on returning to Mayne Island, a place that holds many fond memories — ones that haven’t faded with time.

“It will be 34 years since we were there,” Diane said.