VIDEO: Elderly Woman Defies Mother’s Opposition to Marry Her Beloved ‘True Love’ After 42 Years

Love conquers all obstacles, and this is undoubtedly true for Jeanne and Stephen Watts. Back in 1971, they fell deeply in love but were unable to marry due to Jeanne’s family’s disapproval. Nevertheless, after 42 long years, they finally tied the knot and are now making up for the lost time. Jeanne joyfully exclaimed, “When he proposed, I said, ‘A thousand times yes!'” Their love story began during their university years at Loyola University in Chicago, where Jeanne, a freshman, met Stephen, a senior. She affectionately refers to him as her first and true love.

Unfortunately, their relationship faced an uphill battle when Jeanne’s mother vehemently opposed their union due to Stephen being Black. Jeanne recalled her mother’s extreme reaction, saying, “She just went ballistic. She didn’t want this relationship to happen at all.” Despite the opposition, they managed to date for seven years. However, as Jeanne completed nursing school and started working, the logistical challenges grew. The long commute and Stephen’s lack of a vehicle made their meetings increasingly difficult.

Jeanne found herself overwhelmed by the circumstances, especially the strain it put on her relationship with her mother, which was irreparably damaged. Reflecting on this, Jeanne confessed, “The family issue was always weighing on me because it fractured the relationship between my mother and myself forever. She was always my mother, and I always loved her, but it affected our relationship for the rest of my life.” Although marriage had been a topic of discussion, Jeanne was too afraid of losing her entire family and, one day, tearfully admitted to Stephen during her shift at the nurse’s station, “I love you, but I just can’t do this.”

The decision they made to part ways was one they deeply regretted. “I regretted it then, I regretted the way I did it, but I did it,” Jeanne confessed. For the next forty years, they lived separate lives and lost touch with each other. However, in 2021, their fortunes began to change. Jeanne, now a retired divorcee who had also lost her mother, embarked on a search to find Stephen once again. Her attempts to locate him on social media turned up empty. Frustrated, she remarked, “Everything came up a dead end when I tried to search for him. There was virtually no trace of him.” Fortunately, in April, she managed to find his niece’s mailing address and promptly sent her a letter, discovering that Stephen was residing in a nursing home.

A month later, Jeanne called the nursing home, hoping to speak to Stephen, but was informed that patients did not have personal phones. Undeterred, she penned another letter, yet received no response. Even subsequent phone calls yielded no connection. Finally, in June 2021, Jeanne made the decision to travel from Oregon to Chicago. Her purpose was clear—to find out if Stephen was alright, whether he was married, and if he could forgive her.

Upon entering Stephen’s room, their eyes met, and he immediately recognized her, calling out her name as tears streamed down his face. Overwhelmed with emotion, Jeanne declared, “I knew he still loved me.” In August of that same year, Jeanne moved in with Stephen, and they have been inseparable ever since. Stephen gratefully expressed, “She is wonderful. She is my heart and soul. I want to live with her always.”

After a few more months, the time felt right for them to exchange vows. On October 15, 2022, surrounded by approximately 65 guests in their home, they joyfully said, “I do.” Jeanne eagerly expressed, “We can spend the rest of our lives together making plans.” Taking Stephen’s last name was a meaningful step for her, as she had long desired it. Her previous last name was Gustavson.

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VIDEO: Elderly Woman Defies Mother’s Opposition to Marry Her Beloved ‘True Love’ After 42 Years
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