Fred Paul and Florence Harvey dated for two years in the 1950s before parting ways. Now they have reunited to complete their love story.
A love story that began almost 70 years ago, culminated in a beautiful marriage ceremony recently. Fred Paul and Florence Harvey first met 68 years ago when they were teenagers in Wandsworth, a small town in Newfoundland and Labrador province, Canada. It was in the 1950s that the love of these two highschool sweethearts bloomed. They would spend each and every moment they could spare together, be it walking side by side after church, attending concerts, or stealing sweet kisses in between classes. Before retiring to bed every night Paul would flicker his porch light signaling Harvey, who lived across the bay, that he loved her. It was also his way of saying goodnight during the two years that they were together.
It was almost like they were meant to be with each other forever. "She was my first love. My first girlfriend and my first true love," recalled Paul who is now 84-year-old, according to CNN. But as fate would have it, they both went their separate ways when Paul turned 18 and Harvey 15. His father had asked him to attend his sister's wedding and thus it required him to travel from Wandsworth, Newfoundland, to Nova Scotia, reports WSB-TV2. Following the ceremony, Paul arrived in Toronto to visit his brother but by that time he had run out of money.
Thus, he took up a job to raise enough money that would help him get home and ended up spending a year there, according to CBC. Of course, he had to return home for his first love but by the time he arrived, she was long gone. Harvey had reportedly moved to St. John's to learn a teaching course so, a heartbroken Paul went back to Toronto and they began living their individual lives. As life went by, Paul eventually met a woman in Ontario and fell in love with her. They got married and started their family.
Meanwhile, Harvey met a nice man herself in Newfoundland and married him. Both were blessed with children and grandchildren of their own and they lived happily with their respective partners. But in 2017, Harvey found herself alone after her partner Len died of cancer. The couple had spent 57 years together in happiness and had 5 children. Paul too lost his wife of nearly 60 years, Helen, two years later. Helen suffered from various health ailments including dementia. The couple had two children together. Apparently, their shared grief of losing their partners is what brought them together.
Then one day, Paul's contact information was given by his brother to Harvey. "We both have brothers in a seniors’ home in Marystown, so while I was visiting my brother, his brother was there. He said, ‘I’m gonna give you Fred’s number," recalled Harvey. While Paul thought she would never call him, she did. "I was lonely. He was lonely, so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just call him and offer my condolences, I guess,’ because he had lost his wife the fall before and to tell him that it does get a little easier," she told CBC.
During their first conversation, they spoke about their own lives, accomplishments, children, and grandchildren. Then with time, their phone conversations got lengthier and continued for months. "I never thought it would go past that," said 81-year-old Harvey. "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."
Months later, as Paul's birthday was approaching Harvey decided to surprise him in Toronto. This is when the couple finally reunited. "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," said Paul. Just three days after meeting each other, the pair expressed their desire to get married.
Although their families thought that they might be moving too fast, Paul and Harvey had no doubts what so ever. Paul was just a month away from beginning his stomach cancer treatment, but that did not dissuade Harvey who had made up her mind to be by his side no matter what. Soon after rekindling their teenage love, the couple exchanged their marital vows in the presence of their family members and close friends on August 8 last year. The ceremony officiated by the church's lead minister, Paul Ivany, took place at Norval United Church in Georgetown, Ontario. "There were tears in the eyes of all gathered. You couldn't help but feel you were watching a real, live miracle, that you were witness to an unimaginable love story," revealed Ivany. "You were the first young man to walk me home in my teens," said Harvey during their wonderful wedding ceremony. "I guess you'll be the last man to walk me home."