Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

Lost Loves Reunited: Overcoming Obstacles

A couple separated by a swimming accident are reunited years later.

Couples who have successful lost love reunions usually separated many years ago because of situations that broke them apart. The young romances were working well, but then took a bad turn. These men and women may go through life wondering, "What if?" Years later, those obstacles are gone and, if the two are widowed or divorced, they can reunite successfully. Here is one inspirational love story from my book, The Lost Love Chronicles

Three year old Anne moved with her family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just four houses down from my family; I was five, and we two became immediate friends. I was Anne’s protector and hero. I walked her to school when she started first grade; I taught her to ride her bike with no hands. Our parents also became close friends, so the two families took summer vacations together and spent Christmas Eves attending candlelight services at the same church. Life was exciting, joyous, fun.

Then, at the age of sixteen, my life took a new course. While doing a back dive in a pool, I hit the diving board and dislocated my neck, leaving me paralyzed from the chest down. My family built a house across town that was wheelchair accessible, and Anne and I went our separate ways.

We each graduated from college, married, and devoted our energies to our individual families. But again life for each of us took unexpected courses. Anne divorced after 20 years of marriage, and I lost my wife after her long struggle with breast cancer. By 1996, my son was in college, I had been teaching high school English for 29 years, and I was looking for a new challenge. Anne’s children were also launched, living in Europe. Her work with the managed care industry required a great deal of travel, which she enjoyed, but it also left her quite alone.

I learned over the Internet about research being conducted on spinal chord injuries at a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, and I went there for an evaluation. I hadn’t spoken to Anne in more than 30 years, but I knew her sister lived in Denver so I gave her a call when I arrived. She told me that Anne also lived in town, and she suggested that we all get together.

As soon as Anne and I saw each other, our hearts were singing. All of the excitement and joy they we had experienced together as children transformed itself into a mature form; we were in love. We saw each other once more before I returned to Pennsylvania and Anne left for Europe to spend the Christmas holiday season with her children. But now even a continent couldn’t separate us. Thirty-seven email messages and 20 phone calls later, Anne couldn’t stand the separation any more; she changed her plans and made reservations to fly to Pennsylvania for the last week of her vacation.

The change meant taking a train from Florence to Frankfurt and flying from there. While she was changing trains in Milan, she was robbed of all her money and her passport. The conductor said she would have to get off the train in the middle of the night when they entered Switzerland and advised her not to board. Anne could only think about being with me; she took the risk. She managed to cross two borders and enter the United States without a passport. After 48 hours, my arms were around her.

For the next eight months, we did everything together. I accompanied her on business trips, spent my winter vacation in Denver with Anne, and her work provided many opportunities to spend time with me in Pennsylvania. Soon I retired from teaching, put my house up for sale, packed up my car and drove west. Anne found a beautiful wheelchair accessible apartment for both of us in Denver.

Today we are living our lives together, again with joy, enthusiasm, and excitement! This Christmas, for the first time in over thirty years, our two families will celebrate together. And of course now we have our children, too. What a miracle!



Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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