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love story

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Love wins—couple ties the knot after racism tore them apart four decades ago

'He's still the wonderful gorgeous man that I once knew.'

Photo by Monet Garner on Unsplash

To have and to hold…

Love stories can take many twists and turns. But for one couple, one such detour lasted more than 40 years. In 1972, Jeanne Gustavson met Steve Watts at the German club at Loyola University and was instantly attracted. Their love story should've continued from this day forward, but sadly it was cut short when Gustavason abruptly broke up with the man she loved.

Gustavason explained to CBS News that her mother did not approve of her interracial relationship and wasn't shy about expressing her disdain for the couple. This disapproval of the courtship is what led to the breakup. Eventually, Gustavason and Watts married and divorced other people, but they never forgot about the love that ended too soon.

You'd think after four decades apart and all the life lived in between that the pair would have fully moved on. But it seems that true love really doesn't die because Gustavason went looking for Watts in 2021, and she found him.

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Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Photo by Natali Quijano on Unsplash

In-flight entertainment provided by newlyweds and posse.

Love is definitely in the air. Spring has brought forth flowers, warm evenings and romance. After all the bad news cycles we’ve had, who wouldn’t be up for a little joy in the friendly skies? A couple who had joked about flying off to Vegas to get married found themselves saying their nuptials while the fasten seatbelt sign was turned off, 35,000 feet above any chapel. The couple, Pam and Jeremy, decided they would travel to Vegas once they realized that the joke about getting married in Sin City wasn’t actually a joke, and they really did want to do it.

The two booked an appointment with a Vegas chapel for Sunday night but while they were in the air from Oklahoma City to Dallas, they discovered their connecting flight to Vegas had been canceled. As luck would have it, another passenger, Chris, who found himself stranded in Dallas overheard the couple worrying about not making their appointment at the chapel and stepped up. Chris happened to be an ordained minister and when he heard they may not make it to their own ceremony, he offered to marry them himself. As all three were already headed to Vegas, they turned to Southwest to grab the last three tickets to the city, and this is where it gets interesting.

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Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

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