Advice from a couple that wrote the book
This blog is the second story of the residents of Le Domaine Care. Having lived long lives full of wonderful escapades, their stories deserve to be told.
There is nothing more precious than a love that spans a lifetime.
The beautiful sight of a couple that have been together for many decades. Hand in hand, completely comfortable in each other. A simple smile or caress conveying meaning beyond words. It’s the stuff of fairy tales. On a muggy afternoon in January, we sat down to tea with a couple that proudly bear the torch for life-long love. Mr and Mrs Lucken have been married for 76 years. Both born in 1924, this amazing couple have been living at Le Domaine Care since 2013. They are a living monument to the institution of marriage. Although what’s most surprising is the genuine love and affection they so evidently still have for each other. As German immigrants to South Africa, they met through their parents shared business dealings after the second world war, filling whatever rolls they could and learning the ropes of the family businesses. Mrs Lucken naturally fell into an administrative roll while Mr Lucken did odd jobs mixed with a bit of sales. Through their shared interests and an undeniable attraction, a romance ensued and they were married by 1942. With only a few passable english words, they worked hard to make a living and build the business. The couple learnt to rely on each other in a strange land. Without many friends and much support, they looked to each other for all matters, entwining every aspect of their life, sharing every dream and desire.
As Mrs Lucken says, “There’s no secret to staying married this long – you love each other and you work towards creating your whole life together from the beginning. It’s not about what you want, it’s about being selfless, doing everything together”
Soon the Lucken’s launched their own business, which they grew into a successful company buying and selling property. Their business, as in their relationship, was shared equally. Working together as a team to leverage their strengths and weaknesses, they fought to grow the business as a united front. Together, they built a life for themselves. Mrs Lucken went on to say, “we are fighters! Although we didn’t fight each other - we are on the same side! To make sure we are fighting for the same thing there must be an understanding. Communication is key.”
Along the way they had a baby boy, lavishing him with the same love they had for each other. Just as they had built their lives and work around their relationship, they continued to do the same with their child. Even though hard work was a necessity, they always made time for family connection.
When asked how they made it work for so long, the Luckens smile at each other and deliver some deep wisdom.
“In the beginning it wasn’t easy, two people have different ideas. You must have patience. Whatever we did, we discussed it and supported each other. We talked about everything to make sure everything was always equal. When one of us wanted something, we discussed it. Even when we spoilt each other, we made sure it was equal and we stuck to what we decided. This must be from both sides. It doesn’t work if it’s always about what you want, it must be about what we want.”
“Communication is everything.”
Listening to the Lukens recount stories from the past as they sip on their tea and share loving smiles, it’s easy to forget that they’ve been at it for almost 80 years.
Mrs Lucken flashes a mirthful grin and says, “you know I have the best man. But he always says he has the best woman.”
“We made it!”