High School Sweethearts Thought They Would Never See Each Other Again… But Decades Later a Chance Encounter Changes Everything
As teenagers, Frederick Paul and Florence Harvey were swept away by the tide of young love. But fate had other plans. Frederick had to leave their small town and didn’t return, breaking his promise to Florence.
Decades passed, and Florence is now an older woman. A familiar face caught her eye when she casually visited a senior living center. At that moment, memories of her young love flooded back.
The Love Story Of Florence And Frederick
When they met, Frederick Paul was 16 years old, and Florence Harvey was 13. They were attending classes in a two-room schoolhouse in 1951 when they saw each other. It was love at first sight, and the two fell for each other fast.
Though this may not come as a surprise now, people back then in the small town of Wandsworth, Newfoundland, disagreed with the budding relationship of the young lovebirds.
Always Together Hopefully Forever
When the two met at the schoolhouse, Frederick decided to walk Florence home each day. They both enjoyed each other’s company. They liked each other so much that they wanted to spend most of their time together.
Eventually, their feelings for each other began to grow. Anytime each of them had time, they always spent it together. The beauty of youthful love, they couldn’t help but say goodnight every day in a manner that was so sweet and innocent.
Morse Code Romance
Though their love flourished, they had to keep it secret because many didn’t approve of their sweet, albeit young love. The two began to create codes only the two of them knew. One of which was their nightly farewell.
Each night, Frederick would flick on the porch light to signal to his beloved Florence that it was time to say goodnight. Meanwhile, Florence would similarly flick the lights outside her window as a response, even if she was two-thousand feet away from Frederick.
It seemed as though nothing could stand in the way of their love—their future together was all but certain. But when Frederick’s sister got married, everything changed.
After two years of being together, Frederick boarded a plane bound for Nova Scotia. He left behind his beloved Florence and the small town of Wandsworth. The distance between them ran more than just miles—it threatened to tear them apart.
Losing All His Money
Frederick’s love for Florence never wavered despite their distance. He had promised to return to her, and he believed nothing could stop him. First, however, he had to take a detour to visit his brother in Toronto, Canada.
The situation proved to be a decision that would change the course of their lives. His budget was tight—Frederick found himself stranded without a cent to his name. He realized that his promise to Florence might just have been empty.
Finding Work In The City
Frederick was a young man. He was also proud. He refused to ask his father for financial help. He was determined to make his own way back home to Florence. He had made her a promise, and he intended to keep it.
He decided to find work in the city, all the time consumed by thoughts of her and his promise. But as he navigated the bustling streets of Toronto, he fell in love with the city and all its trimmings.
A Year Of Waiting
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, Frederick found himself caught in the city’s allure. He delayed his plans to return home to Wandsworth. He was lost in the whirlwind of opportunities the city offered.
However, Florence patiently waited for him. Her faith in his promise never faltered. She waited for an entire year, but as summer came around, she knew something had to change. She had to make a choice.
The Cruelty Of Fate
Florence made a fateful decision. She was going to leave town and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. But little did she know, as she journeyed away from home, someone was running back for her.
Frederick, her one true love, returned to Wandsworth. He was going to claim her as his, but as he searched for Florence, she was gone. His heart shattered into a million pieces. He believed she had moved on and left him behind forever.
As the years passed, Florence’s heart ached. But fate had other plans. She found solace in the calling of teaching and devoted herself to the craft. She thought she had closed the door on love, but it managed to find her.
A kind-hearted welder named Len met Florence, and the two decided to get married. As they stood before the altar, Florence finally said, “I do.” Little did Frederick know that the love of his life had found her own happiness.
As the years flew by, Florence and Len’s love blossomed. Their union bore them five precious children. As their relationship flourished, so did their children and their children’s children. They had ten grandkids and seven great-grandchildren.
But while Florence’s heart had found its home with Len, Frederick also met a new love from a woman named Helen. Though Florence and Frederick’s paths had diverged, the memories of their youthful love lingered on, if only momentarily and from time to time.
Going Back To Their Hometown
For whatever reason fate had in mind, the stars aligned, and it seemed the universe conspired to bring the two ex-lovers together in 1997. At that time, Wandsworth hosted a grand “Come Home Year” celebration.
Florence and Frederick separately decided to come along with their respective families. It was the first time either of them had come. As they walked the streets of Wandsworth, they finally saw each other face to face. It was as if time had stood still.
A Short Talk
Though their youthful memories came flooding back, the presence of their families kept them from indulging in the past. They spoke for only five minutes to catch up. As they quickly parted ways, they had to return to the embrace of their loved ones.
Though they went back to their respective homes, the encounter lingered in their minds. Frederick and Florence thought of each other often, yet the two were adamant about focusing on their families. The idea of calling one another was unthinkable.
Florence’s 57-Year Marriage
As the years marched on, death came for Florence’s beloved partner. After 57 years of marriage, Florence was left alone. Though she had her large family to comfort her, the void in her heart was palpable.
Though she felt the weight of loneliness on her shoulders, she knew that the only way to escape the pain was to keep busy. She actively made her days purposeful while finding solace in the memories of the life she shared with her beloved.
Florence’s 2020 Visit
In Florence’s quest to fill her days with purpose, she decided to visit her brother in the senior living center he was in on Valentine’s Day, 2020. In her mind, she wanted to be with someone she loved and cherished.
But as she walked through the door, her heart was suddenly filled with shock. The first person to greet her at the living center was not her brother but someone who had once held a special place in her heart.
Seeing Frederick’s Brother
The familiar face Florence saw was none other than Frederick’s brother. The two had been fairly close in their youth, but since he moved all those years ago, she hadn’t seen him in decades. The surprise was overwhelming. He was overjoyed to see Florence.
As they talked, the conversation inevitably turned toward his brother, Frederick. She couldn’t help but feel a renewed interest in him. Her mind flashed back to the feelings that had once consumed her and the future they had once imagined having together.
Similar to Florence, Frederick similarly suffered a loss. His wife, Helen, had recently passed away. She couldn’t help but feel heartbroken for Frederick as he, too, was experiencing the same feelings of grief as she was with the passing of her husband.
Surprisingly, his brother offered an unexpected suggestion that she would have never entertained a few years earlier. Florence never dreamed of meeting Frederick once again. She never dreamed they would ever reconnect. Fate seemed to be working to make this come true.
At Last, A Phone Number!
It seemed fate was working overtime to make the two lovers meet once more—or at least the two finally decided to use phones to communicate. When Frederick gave his brother permission to give Florence his phone number, it was the start of a new yet old relationship.
Florence decided to take a chance and call Frederick. According to her interview with CBC, she called Frederick after Valentine’s day, knowing that his wife had died and that he was still in mourning. Her goal was to offer her condolences.
One simple phone call was all it took for Florence and Frederick to feel as though no time had passed in their lives. They laughed and reminisced about their youth and their life in Wandsworth as if they had never been apart.
If they had made calls early on in their relationship, would they have ended up together in the first place? In an interview with CBC, Frederick revealed they spent three to four hours on the phone talking about their youthful courtship.
A Pleasant Surprise
Since Florence and Frederick’s connection was reignited, the two began to speak on the phone almost every night. Though they were still separated by distance, their bond was stronger than ever. They always seemed to have stories and topics of conversation that would last well into the night.
The hours they spent on the phone had them talk about their past and present. Florence also made sure she would give Frederick a surprise that was sure to change their lives forever.
Ontario Or Bust
Frederick was unaware that Florence had been secretly making arrangements to visit Ontario, the place where Frederick lived. She wanted to be there in July to surprise him on his birthday.
As he did every night, Frederick waited by the phone, eagerly anticipating their conversation. But he began to worry when she didn’t call at the usual time. As the hours passed, he grew increasingly anxious. Unable to wait any longer, Frederick decided to call her, but to his surprise, Florence wasn’t at home.
Winning Back His Heart
Frederick’s mind raced as he quickly put two and two together. He finally realized Florence was in Ontario to surprise him for his birthday. He couldn’t contain his excitement, and he quickly got out of bed and wrote “Welcome, Florence” on his driveway.
When he saw a car’s headlights approaching, he knew it was her. He gave her a sweet kiss on the cheek and lovingly held her hand. Frederick later revealed to CBC that Florence had taken his heart back again.
Searching For Wedding Rings
They knew that they didn’t want to be apart again. The two didn’t waste any more time. They quickly moved in together a mere month after Florence’s surprise visit to Ontario. As they settled into their new life together, they began shopping for wedding rings.
Florence shared that they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They also do everything together. To Frederick, she is an angel, and he’s blessed to wake up with her every day of his life.