Meet Bob –
This is Bob (aka Roland).
Bob and I met through our sons, they were in the same Year 1 class. One weekend we were both in attendance at a party the kids were at. I remember seeing him walk across from the carpark. I first saw Jaydee who was dressed in the arbitrary super hero outfit and my immediate thought was - 'So that's his Dad'. I had heard stories from the childcare centre of Jaydee's Dad. And I was always curious as to who this man was that they spoke of.
The foreign accent got my immediate attention. And then I was immediately drawn to his personality! LOL (Bit of a joke we have between each other). Here was a guy so vibrant and happy.
So what’s his story?
The Story of Bob –
Bob immigrated to Australia from South Africa. He grew up in Durban and is the middle child of 5 kids. Bob loved to surf, he spent much of his spare time surfing with mates, or on weekend surfing trips down the coast of South Africa. He tells many a tale of funny mad surfing days, of young boys having harmless fun. These stories are my favourite.
Bob married his girlfriend Joanne and they decided that they wanted to immigrate to Australia to start a family. So they immigrated to Australia, taking up residence in Toowoomba, as that is where he landed his first job. They lived in a small two bedroom apartment, whilst they were building their home to move into in Birkdale. Jo fell pregnant, and their son Jaydee was born in Toowoomba in the March of 2010. Life seemed great.
Shortly after moving to Brisbane Jo had an episode where she blanked out at a set of traffic lights whilst driving. Some people came to her aid and called the QAS. She brushed it off as being sleep deprived and tired from caring for her young son. However one of the paramedics advised her to go and see a Doctor and have her chest x-rayed just to rule out that something more sinister wasn’t going on.
So she did and what happened next was not good news. Jo was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. The cancer was in her lungs, liver and her spine. Sadly it was classified as terminal and whilst they tried every treatment available she passed away approximately 18months after her diagnosis.
So Bob lost his wife and was left with the sole responsibility of raising his son. When we met it had been maybe 3 years since her passing. I couldn't get my head around what it would be like to lose someone so close to you. I have lost Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. But to lose your wife! And at such a young age. Baffles my mind how a person can move on from that. I found myself and still find myself at times wishing I could bring her back, so they can continue the amazing life together that they had planned.
This man absolutely blew me away. Such a sad story and such pain and heartache to endure, yet he was filled with such happiness and optimism. He oozed a lust for life and seemed like such a fun person to be around. And such determination to make a great life for his son and to ensure that he doesn't miss out on anything.
And I may have found him just a little bit cute !
I was really intrigued by him and found myself wanting to know more about him. At the same time I was quite hesitant as I was not interested in a relationship. At that stage of my life starting a new relationship seemed all too hard and I didn’t have time for love and all the complications it brings….
So I asked him over for dinner…
First he turned me down. Was busy he said!! Meh..
Then Buran wanted Jaydee to come for a play date at our house. Sure that was okay with me. Would be nice to see Roland again and have a chat. He dropped Jaydee off, stayed for a little bit but then said he would be back around a certain time.
When he came back he stayed for coffee and we chatted for ages. The conversation seemed to flow and it felt so easy, laughing like old friends. He was dropping hints that he didn’t have too many friends in Brisbane and didn’t get out much with adults as a single parent. NEXT minute ….
I asked him out to a concert I was going to with friends. I didn’t think he would say yes. But he did!
Wow! What have I just done? What if he’s a weirdo? What if he gets really drunk and misbehaves? Mmmmm, doesn’t matter he probably won’t come anyway.
Well the day came around and it had been raining all weekend, so our original plan to drive went by the wayside as there was limited parking. So we decided to get the bus, which was fine.
The night went amazing. I had so much fun. He seemed like he was enjoying himself as well. Except I made sushi to take, thinking that would impress him. Clearly not, as he didn't even like Sushi! Hahah
When it came time to leave we had to go and wait for a bus. Due to the unexpected weather in the days before they hadn't organised enough buses, so we waited nearly 2 hours for the bus, but what an awesome opportunity for us to chat and get to know one another. He thinks to this day that I planned that. LOL
So from that came a dinner date and here we are still together. We’ve been dating 3 ½ years. We’ve had our issues but on the most part things are great.
There was a couple of times early in our relationship where I saw some red flags and was ready to run, however something made me say to myself, ‘Hey don’t run. It might not be what you think it is’. It wasn't fair that I make a judgement based on my past experiences and hang ups. Now wasn't a time to put walls up, I just needed to work through it as uncomfortable as it was for me.
I learnt to be more open and upfront and ask questions about things I wasn’t sure of. Culturally things were a little different in the way we communicated but we came to understand each other. I guess it's just fortunate that we are both willing to talk things through and find solutions.
We had, and still have our differences, but because we may be different in some things doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be together.
The things I love about Bob are;
He is honest and loyal
· He makes me laugh
· We share the same values
· We enjoy the same things in life
· We have such a strong connection
· He makes me feel safe
· He is ALWAYS there for me
· He makes me feel so LOVE
· He loves playing table tennis (even though I win most of the time)
Dating with kids is not easy and we’ve got some ways to go before we decide on moving forward together.
But we are two people who;
make each other happy
· who go through similar things everyday
· working to support our families
· just want to enjoy life
· don’t want drama in our lives
· share the same values around how we bring up our kids
· are committed to making this relationship work
· make time for each other whenever we can
· treasure the quality time that we have with each other and our kids
We've had some great adventures together and with the kids. And I have no doubt we will have many more fun travels and I'll beat him in many more table tennis matches..
Whilst Bob lost his wife, he has given me life. He has given me so much love and has been there through some of the tough times I have endured as a single parent, helping me find solutions and being a shoulder to cry on.
I know I have been an unwavering support for Bob and his times as a Single Parent. And I am glad that I have been able to bring him new happiness, new love and new adventures, showing him the AUSSIE way. LOl.
What's really great is that we have each other to lean on, trust in and rely on for support when we need it. And someone to have Nandoes and beers and talk sh$# on a Friday night! We will never take life too serious. I will forever be grateful that Bob came into my life. Cheers to many more fun times together xxx
So Bob and Tee are meant to be…..
P.S He does beat him in pool most of the time.. shhhh!