Woman pressured to end interracial relationship tracks down man after 4 decades

Jeanne Gustavson fell really hard for Stephen Watts, her college sweetheart at Loyola University in Chicago. But her family didn’t approve because she’s white, and Watts black.

68-year-old Gustavson has been suffering from chronic regret since breaking up with her college sweetheart for decades.

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“I can’t turn back the clock. I wish I could,” Gustavson said. “I would have married him.”

Watts, she said, would have made the perfect husband had he been white.

“My mother was absolutely livid,” Jeanne said. “What didn’t she say? How could I disgrace the family. It was not pretty.”

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Gustavson and Watts broke up and never saw each other again. Up until a few months ago, when Gustavson found him in a Chicago nursing home.

“What I found was sort of a broken man,” she said.

Watts, as she soon found out, was divorced with no kids. And life wasn’t too kind to the man she once knew. Watts had been homeless, suffered two strokes and was nearly unrecognizable when she found him.

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“But he’s still the wonderful, gorgeous man that I knew,” Gustavson said.

“He was my first true love. That doesn’t go away,” she continued.

“He was very handsome,” Jeanne narrated. “He was 6-foot-4. I like tall guys! He was extremely intelligent, well spoken. He was very caring, he always treated me like a lady. He was a gentleman.”

How couldn’t she fall in love? And yet they had to keep their relationship secret.

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They kept it secret for eight long years. It really was a different time.

Jeanne went on to become a nurse while Steve got a master’s degree in linguistics and taught German. The relationship soon began to feel the strain because of distance and opposing schedules.

It all became too much for Jeanne. She gave in to the pressure and broke up with Steve over the phone during her work break.

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“I regretted what I did right after I did it,” she said. “It was almost immediate. I knew I shouldn’t have ended the relationship the way I did but at that point, I didn’t know what else to do.”

42 years apart and she never forgot Watts.

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And when she found her man, Jeanne did everything she could to move Watts into her home. He’s got a room and a bed all his own, and even though Steve is bedridden, he still shows Jeanne how much he loves her.

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And for these two lovers, the world is perfect once again.

Four decades after that fateful day, a heartbreak that she carried her whole life, Jeanne now has Steve with her. They may not have gotten married then, but the future is still ahead of them.

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So don’t feel too bad if you’re single or heartbroken. Love really is unpredictable. The universe has a funny way of working out our lives. It may be the person you’ve always wanted, or someone even better.

Watch this beautiful reunion below!

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