High school sweethearts tie the knot after 70 years apart
High school sweethearts who were separated close to seven decades ago reunited during the coronavirus pandemic and are now married.
Their love story began 68 years ago, when Fred Paul and Florence Harvey first laid eyes on each other.
The couple met when they were teenagers in Wandsworth, a small town in Newfoundland and Labrador province, Canada. They spent all their free time together, going for walks after church, stealing kisses in between classes, and attending concerts.
Every night during the two years they were together, Paul, 84, would flicker his porch light before going to bed. It was his way of telling Harvey, who lived across the bay, good night and that he loved her.
"She was my first love. My first girlfriend and my first true love."
But when Paul turned 18, and Harvey was 15, the two ended up going their separate ways. Paul relocated to Toronto for work. A year later, when he came back to look for her, Harvey had moved to another town.
Eventually, they both married other people and started families.
Come 2017, Harvey was single once again after she had lost her husband of 57 years to cancer. The couple were happily married and had five children together.
Two years later, Paul's wife of nearly 60 years, also passed away. They had two children together.
It was the shared grief over losing their spouses that brought them back together.
Harvey reached out to Paul after hearing the tragic news, to reassure him that things would get better.
During that first conversation which took place after Valentine's Day, they spoke about their lives, their children and grandchildren and celebrated each other's happy moments.
"I never thought it would go past that," Harvey, 81, told CNN. "But we went from talking once a week, to twice, to three times, to every day for hours. We had really reconnected even though we hadn't seen each other in all those years. I knew this was it."
"When I found out she was in town and was coming to me, it was 10:30 at night. I ran out of bed and got dressed and wrote 'Welcome Florence' in chalk on the driveway and when she arrived, I walked to the car, gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and I held her hand and I knew right away that she had taken my heart," Paul said.
Just three days after reuniting, the couple made the decision to get married
Despite their family questioning it, Paul and Harvey knew exactly what they wanted.
Paul was also one month away from starting treatment for stomach cancer, but Harvey was committed to being by his side throughout the good and the bad, no matter what that meant.
On August 8, Paul and Harvey exchanged vows in front of family and close friends at Norval United Church in Georgetown, Ontario.
"You were the first young man to walk me home in my teens," Harvey told Paul during the ceremony. "I guess you'll be the last man to walk me home."
Now, the couple plan to go back in time and retrace the first half of their love story by visiting the childhood town where they met and fell in love all those years ago.
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