Just in time for Valentine's Day, a story to challenge the dark, coal hearts of the holiday grinches: a WWII vet has reunited with his girlfriend over Skype and it's all kinds of adorable. Norwood Thomas lost touch with his war-time girlfriend, Joyce Morris, over 70 years ago. The circumstances pertaining to their positions and duties during the way separated them. The last time they were together, they were in England in 1945. Now, Joyce lives in Australia and Norwood lives in Virginia. There's nearly an entire planet between them — not to mention the close-to-a-century's worth of life.
Back in England, Norwood had planned on marrying Joyce. But after the war spun them out to opposite ends of the world, he lost hope. Sometime in the early '90s, Norwood read an article in the paper about a woman in a plane crash whom he was sure was Joyce. He thought he had lost her for certain. But decades later, Joyce was still thinking about Norwood. Finally, she asked her son to look him up online. Sure enough, an article came up: Norwood had gone skydiving on his 88th birthday and the Virginian-Pilot ran the story. Joyce and her son got in touch with the reporter who penned the story and they were able to bring the long lost lovers back together, over Skype.
It didn't take long before the story of the reunion started to spread — it's just the kind of hopeful fairy tale that we need to believe in. When the story hit the local news, a woman named Barbara Lee McDonald created a GoFundMe account in their honor. The plan was to raise enough money to afford Norwood a trip to Australia to see Joyce. As the story picked up momentum, the donations came pouring in. Everyone wanted to be a part of the reunion. Now, if Norwood's health permits it, with the help of Air New Zealand (who's putting him up in first class for free), he'll be on his way to see Joyce soon.
So maybe you're not into mass produced Valentine's cards and a box of chocolate doesn't make your heart swoon, but it's hard not to be moved by such authentic and innocent love. It's both moving and motivating to know that people can make the kinds of impressions on each other that last almost a century. Maybe not every person you meet on Tinder has the romantic inclination to make all your rom-com dreams come true, but real love stories are out there. Imagine all of the trauma, stress, loss and changes that exist between Norwood and Joyce — they're hardly the same people they were when they first met. But one thing surely stayed the same.
I dare you not to cry as you watch them rediscover that thing for the first time on Skype: