Later in Love: The Do-Over

Later in Love

Edie North, 64, and Laury, 74, know a thing or two about second chances. Photo: Courtesy of Edie North

While still a teenager, Edie North (left), now 64, met and quickly married Laury, (right) now 74, and lived happily ever after … eventually.

Edie North: We both worked at Saskatchewan Environment, where he was an engineer and I was a typist, which should tell you it was a long
time ago. 

Laury North: It was 1978. We’d dated for a few months when I got a job offer in Edmonton. I asked Edie if she wanted to come with me.

EN: We were talking about the Blue Jays, and by the way, “move to Edmonton with me?” I said, “That sounds fun, let’s do it!” I was only 19. 

LN: I was 29, so should have known better. We lived together for a couple years and then I proposed, because it seemed like the next thing to do. We got married on May 30th, ’81, and bought a house. We thought we were mature.

EN: I look back and think, who was that person? I hadn’t gone to university and had no career plans. I hadn’t evolved yet as a person and I didn’t know who I was.

LN: I was wrapped up in my work and not paying enough attention. We didn’t fight, but we never really talked either. If we had, we might have stayed together.

EN: At one point, we saw a marriage counsellor who said, “I don’t know what the problem is.” The problem was I wanted out of the marriage, so obviously something was wrong. Laury had a degree and a career, whereas I had no career plan. 

LN: We divorced in 1986. I don’t want to say I was happy, but I was relieved the tension was gone. 

EN: I went to law school and ended up practising family law. I saw marriages end because of abuse, cheating, money and drinking problems. One day, we ran into each other downtown … and I thought, “Wow, my ex-husband was actually very nice.” He dressed nicely, had a good job, was sociable. 

LN:  I’d gotten married again in 1988, in Las Vegas, but got divorced in 2008. Nobody ever told me a Nevada marriage licence was only good for 20 years! I thought about Edie sometimes and wondered how she was doing. 

EN: I was married for 10 years, had four kids in there, then got divorced. I often thought of sending Laury a note, but I never did until I saw his mother’s obituary. She was a lovely lady and I wanted to send my condolences, but Laury’s not on social media. I ended up sending a card to his professional organization, who mailed it to him. 

LN: I recognized the handwriting immediately. We emailed for a while, then had a phone call, and I recognized her voice too. 

EN: Voices tend not to change. I didn’t quite recognize him from his photo, because I was used to him having a full red beard, but his voice was the same. 

LN: I’d finally learned how to communicate. Now we talk about everything, all the time. We moved in together and started talking about getting married. Again. 

EN: We were choosing a date, and May 30th was coming up, and both our memories are getting faulty, so May 30th would be easy to remember! 

LN: We remarried on what would have been our 40th anniversary and recently celebrated our second anniversary. Or 42nd, depending on how you count. 

As told to Rosemary Counter

A version of this article appeared in the Feb/March 2024 issue with the headline ‘The Do-Over’, p. 36.

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