- Paul was 18 when he left his 15-year-old sweetheart Harvey behind in search of employment
- They would not meet again for decades, with each getting married to different people and starting families
- Both would lose their spouses two years apart, and a call to offer condolences reignited the flames
- Paul and Harvey were 84 and 81 respectively when they exchanged vows for the first time ever
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The love lives of Fred Paul and Florence Harvey got separated 68 years ago when Paul left the little town of Wandsworth in Canada and moved to Toronto in search of employment.
The separation saw the lovebirds lose touch with each other, and when Paul came back to Wandsworth in search of his girlfriend, he was heartbroken to learn that she too had relocated not long after he left.
With years going by and both opening their arms to new world, they each got married to different people and settled into family life.
As fate would have it, the two would find themselves single again almost at the same time.
It started in 2017 when, after a 57-year marriage and five children later, Harvey was widowed after cancer claimed her husband Len.
Two years later, Paul's 60-year-old married too was rocked when his wife Helen succumbed to multiple health issues. The couple had been blessed with two children.
That grief would be the stroke that brought them back together.
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When Harvey received news that Paul was a grieving widower, she reached out to offer condolences.
Speaking to CNN, Harvey explained how the conversation rekindled childhood memories, which were nothing but amazing.
"I never thought it would go past that, 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," she said.
With Harvey set to celebrate her 81st birthday in a few days, she chose to spend it in Toronto with Paul. The two were back in each other's arms, six decades later.
"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 a jubilant Paul.
Paul, now aged 84, and 81-year-old Harvey were ready to get married three days after that meeting.
On August 8, 2020, as the world grappled with heavy fears over the Coronavirus pandemic, Paul walked Harvey down the aisle at the Norval United Church in Georgetown, Ontario.
"You were the first young man to walk me home in my teens. I guess you'll be the last man to walk me home," were Harvey's words to Paul at the wedding.
Paul, on his part, played Ricky Skaggs' "I Wouldn't Change You If I Could" to Harvey on his accordion.
The couple plans to go back and visit Wandsworth and walk down memory lane through the streets and buildings that epitomized their teenage love.
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