They met, fell in love, dated and broke up. They got married to separate people, but eventually, found their way back to each other.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 31, 2019. It has since been updated.
Sometimes love comes to us in the most unexpected manner and stays for a lifetime. Sometimes it comes to us when we are ready to fall in love but it never stays. Sometimes, we lose the love we always wanted to have, only to have it back when we need it the most. This story is about a couple who couldn't be together when they were young. But such was their love, they found each other back after 64 years and brought their lives to a full circle.
“We went steady junior year of high school, 1955-56,” Annette Adkins recalls. They went to prom together, danced and clicked photos with each other. Annette thought she was in love, Bob Harvey was sure.
“She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life,” Bob said. “I fell madly, totally and one hundred percent in love with her. We had a wonderful junior year.”
Bob went through his first heartbreak when Annette went to Florida with his family for a vacation and met her future husband who she would marry in 1961. After she came back from her summer vacation she broke his heart again.
Annette recalls, “Bob comes to me. I’m at my locker. He has his arms spread out for a hug, and I said, ‘Bob, I found someone else and I don’t want to date you anymore.'” She pauses as she recalls that day. “I regret the harshness…" she adds. "She broke my heart the second time then,” Bob said. When she delivered the news, Bob recalls, “Nice guy I am, the Southern gentleman, I said, ‘all right.’” Annette remembers him walking away.
She graduated high school and they went separate ways. They remained aloof from each other for six decades. Yes! Six decades. And now, Annette Adkins and Bob Harvey are all set to become husband and wife in October, after six decades of longing for each other's love, reports USA Today.
In these six decades, both Bob and Annette had happy families. She went on to marry John Callahan in 1961 and raised a family. Bob married Diane in 1959. Amidst their busy work and family life, they often thought about each other and missed the days of their togetherness.
Time passed and their lives changed. Annette lost her husband in 2015 and Bob's wife lost her battle to cancer in 2017. According to USA Today, currently, Bob is fighting his own battle with cancer. He recalls thinking about Annette a few months ago and taking a trip.
“I wondered what our children would be like," he said. "A couple of months ago, she was heavy on my mind. I googled her.” Bob found John’s obituary and realized Annette had been a widow for more than four years. He said, “My heart fell on the floor.” He worried that during those four years, she might have found someone else; he feared that he “might have lost her again.”
Bob found Annette and sent a condolence card to her. In that card, he included his phone number. Eight days later, Annette left a message on Bob’s answering machine.
“I danced around the room,” he says. “When she called, I couldn’t talk. I was still madly in love with this woman.”
She told him she’d been looking for him for a couple of years. This was on a Friday, Bob recalls. They talked of meeting and she asked whether he could come to Ohio.
Bob got there that Sunday. “I left (Virginia) at 5 a.m.,” he says. “I drove 500 miles.” He called her on the phone and she asked where he was. Bob said, “I’m in your driveway.”
“The door opened instantly,” Bob said. “My heart was soaring. I had brought flowers.” Annette said, “He held my face in both his hands and he kissed me.”
It was, they say, “like 1956 all over again.” “She said she had thought of me over the years,” Bob says. “I love her dearly. I love her more every day.” “We just reconnected immediately,” Annette says.
“I think sometimes I can’t love her more, but then there’s tomorrow,” Bob says.
With the help of Annette's daughter, Laura, Bob proposed with a vintage ring that holds in it the aura of the 1950s. Annette said the 1950s-era ring and its various stones “symbolize the past, present and the future and our journey together.”
Here's wishing many more years of love and togetherness!