"Between 1962 and 1964, I spent my time living and working in Canada. Part of this time I worked in a hotel in Toronto. My work mate there who showed me the ropes was a Bell Hop called Ron. Ron was a gambler, alcoholic and keen angler. Ron loved fishing so much that often he would spend two or three days out in the wild open country with his rod, waist deep in some fast flowing river.
Rod was in his mid fifties and had been married three times. One night during a quiet shift at the hotel where virtually no custom was to be had, we started talking. Within no time at all, we'd started swapping stories and eventually the topic came around to how he had met his three wives and what had gone wrong with the marriages that had failed. Despite having been wed and divorced thrice, Ron believed in fate and he therefore held the belief that he'd been destined to meet each woman in his life where he'd first seen them and in whatever circumstances he'd come across them. To Ron, everything which occurred in his life happened for a reason.
He told me that he met wife number in circumstances common to many men of his time, at a line dance. His meeting with his third wife was a bit more unusual, as she'd been a nurse who'd attended him in hospital after he'd damaged his back in a fall and had to spend six weeks hospitalised. It was only when he started telling me about wife number two that he really grabbed my full attention.
He'd been spending a week camping and fishing in the Candian Rocky region of British Columbia, a favourite haunt of his where trout, sturgeon and halibut could be caught in abundance. During such breaks, he would sleep out under the stars and would awake every morning with the early birds, and after breakfast, go fishing.
On the morning in Question, Ron had gone to a stretch of the river where he always caught something. It was there where he came upon her; wife number two. She was also camping alone in the area; something that few single ladies would ever do unless they were good with a rifle, because of prowling bears.
Ron told me that when he first saw her, he thought he'd died and gone to heaven. She was laid prostrate across a river boulder stark naked, washing herself in the cool water of the flowing river. Ron expected her to jump out of her skin as soon as she realised that she wasn't alone. Instead, she was reportedly as cool as a cucumber, and asked him causally to pass her her towel as she stood up to dry herself off.
Being eager to hear lots more I asked Ron, 'What happened then?'
Ron just smiled coyly and said, 'Being the gentleman my mom had brought me up to be, Bill, there was nothing else I could do in such circumstances except the decent thing. So, I asked her to marry me!'
Their first two years of married life was blissful and the couple were lost in a maze of love, friendship and close intimacy. Ron knew he loved her when his home went from being a place to being a person.Though they moved house three times in their short marriage, he was happy with her wherever they lived. Ron said that though she had faults, he loved her so much that he never saw her imperfections and didn't notice her addiction to drink until half way into their marriage of six years. The woman he loved was alcoholic and despite all his attempts to get her off the drink, he finally had to accept that he couldn't. Ron then said that the only way he could avoid losing her was to stay close to her, even if that meant him becoming an alcoholic also! Six years after they'd married, his wife died from liver failure and despite getting married a third time some years later, wife number two was the only one he said he truly loved.
What were the circumstances in which you met your true love? Were they as unusual as Ron's experience or the run of the mill introductions which fate often decrees? I dare you to tell."William Forde: October 1st, 2016.