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82-Year-Old Man Goes to Europe to Find Sweetheart He Lost in 1974, Months Later He Gets Married – Story of the Day

Rita Kumar
Jul 12, 2022
01:00 A.M.
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An 82-year-old widower who lost touch with his sweetheart 48 years ago embarked on a trip to Padua to find her. One day, he saw a bracelet he had gifted her on a woman's hand and rushed to see her face, only to break down into tears.

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82-year-old Alex Stan tried to overcome the hollowness his late wife, Emerald, left him five years ago. She had died, leaving Alex to age peacefully with their lovely memories. His grandson, 24-year-old Dylan, was the only person he relied on to ease his emotional burden.

One day, Dylan paid a surprise visit to his grandpa's house and saw him holding a picture in his hands. Alex's eyes were filled with tears, drowning in painful memories. But just as Dylan neared his grandpa to offer comfort, he was shocked to see him holding a photo of a young woman who was not his late grandma...

Dylan caught his grandpa shedding tears at a picture of a woman who was not his late wife. | Source: Pexels

Dylan caught his grandpa shedding tears at a picture of a woman who was not his late wife. | Source: Pexels

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Dylan and Alex were more of buddies and not just the typical grandpa-grandson. They spent a lot of time together. Dylan's dad, Franco Connor, was too busy with his business and frequent trips, so the young man was drawn much closer to his grandpa.

"That bracelet...it looks familiar. No, it can't be," Alex shrieked and walked over to the woman at the table nearby. He burst into tears after seeing her face.

On that pleasant evening, Dylan had wanted to surprise his grandpa with dinner at his favorite restaurant. He thought it would help him relax and forget his sorrow for a bit. But Dylan was shocked and curious after seeing an unfamiliar woman's monochrome picture in his grandpa's hand.

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"Grandpa, who is she?" he asked.

"Who? What, darling?" Alex pretended. He recognized Dylan's footsteps and tossed the photo under the cushion to avoid getting caught.

"No, I saw it...You were holding a picture of a woman, and it wasn't grandma. Can I see it? Who is she?"

The living room sprawled with silence as old Alex remained speechless. "How should I tell him?" he thought as tears uncontrollably gushed from his eyes.

After a deep silence and a painful sigh, Alex took the photo and showed it to Dylan, then revealed a classic love story that ended before it started.

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Alex could no longer hide the truth about the woman he always loved. | Source: Unsplash

Alex could no longer hide the truth about the woman he always loved. | Source: Unsplash

"Wow! She's beautiful! Who is she?"

Alex ran his fingers on the woman's photo and told Dylan that she was someone dear to his heart. "I was frightened all my life to admit she was my true love."

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"True love? Grandpa, I don't get you."

"I loved your grandma...I still do. But Catherine...she was my best friend and first love. She went away with her parents to Italy. She told me that she was getting engaged to an Italian businessman, a family friend's son, there. I could not profess my love for her because I was scared she would hate me for having such feelings for her. So I buried my love for her in my heart."

"Your first love?" Dylan exclaimed in shock. "Does she know this? Where is she now in Italy?" Alex could no longer hold back his tears. He fell on Dylan's shoulders and wept, showing him another photo of him with Catherine shot during an excursion.

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"No, I never told her how I felt for her. And I don't know where she is, but if I get a chance to tell her how much I love her, I'll happily do it before I die. The last time I saw her was 48 years ago when I gifted her a blue stone-studded bracelet with a silver locket on her 29th birthday, just a day before she left for Italy. I never saw her again after that."

Alex & Catherine were neighbors and best friends. | Source: Pexels

Alex & Catherine were neighbors and best friends. | Source: Pexels

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"Didn't she give you her address in Italy, grandpa?"

"She said she would write me letters. But the old block we lived in back then was torn down to build a theater after the owner sold it. I moved in here after that. I never got any letters from her, and I am not sure if they were sent back to her."

Dylan's heart sank hearing this. He patted his grandpa and told him he would help find his long-lost love. "Don't worry, we will find her."

"What? But how?" Alex exclaimed.

Dylan assured his grandpa they would find Catherine. But his only worry was how to find her and if she was still alive. Her whereabouts in Italy were too challenging to find out, but Dylan did not lose hope, and he kept looking.

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For the next few days, Dylan searched for a specific "Catherine Douglas" on the internet. Many young and older women by that name made it difficult to find the one they were looking for.

Dylan searched for Catherine on the internet. | Source: Pexels

Dylan searched for Catherine on the internet. | Source: Pexels

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Then one day, Dylan scanned through photos on Facebook and found a picture that looked like the one his grandfather had. He opened the profile that belonged to Cynthia Douglas. "Got it, finally!" he shrieked in joy after rummaging through the user's profile and seeing pictures of her with her grandma, Catherine Douglas.

Dylan messaged Cynthia and told her about his grandpa and her grandma's good old days. "Yes, that's right. Your grandma Catherine and my grandpa Alex were neighbors and best friends. He still thinks about her a lot...I mean, A LOT!"

Cynthia was overwhelmed. She teamed up with Dylan to reunite her granny with her best friend after 48 years of no contact and arranged for a trip to her place.

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"To Italy? Are you serious? You found her?" Alex exclaimed in shock when Dylan offered to travel with him to Padua, Italy. "Not sure if it's her, grandpa. But I'm sure you won't regret it once you see her," Dylan said.

Alex was over the moon hearing this. Deep inside, he hoped and prayed to see his long-lost love once again. With a heart full of hope, he and Dylan flew to Italy the next day.

With a heart filled with hope, Alex flew with Dylan to Italy to see Catherine. | Source: Unsplash

With a heart filled with hope, Alex flew with Dylan to Italy to see Catherine. | Source: Unsplash

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On a pleasant March evening, Dylan and Alex rode to a beautiful café in Padua. The grandpa was lost in deep thought, remembering how his long-lost love, Catherine, loved Italian cuisine and architecture.

Meanwhile, sitting at the cafe, Catherine had many questions for her granddaughter, Cynthia. "Sweetie, what was the need to bring me here? You know I don't like to go out often after grandpa passed away. And why did you ask me to wear this bracelet? I don't like wearing it because I'm scared it'll get damaged...It's a beloved memory of someone I know."

"Just trust me, granny. You will never forget this day, and it's going to be very special," Cynthia said, smiling.

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Moments later, Dylan led Alex to a table opposite Cynthia's. He arched his eyebrows in excitement and smiled at her as Alex took a seat facing Catherine. Dylan and Cynthia waited for his reaction when he saw Catherine's hand. She was wearing the same bracelet he had given her 48 years ago.

"That bracelet...it looks familiar. No, it can't be." Alex shrieked, walked over to the woman at the table nearby, and burst into tears after seeing her face.

"Cathy?!" he exclaimed in joy. "Oh my God! This has to be a dream...Don't tell me I'm dreaming...Cathy? Is it you?"

Alex recognized the bracelet he had gifted Catherine 48 years ago. | Source: Pixabay

Alex recognized the bracelet he had gifted Catherine 48 years ago. | Source: Pixabay

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Catherine jumped up from her seat and gasped in shock. Only one man, her best friend Alex, addressed her as Cathy. She burst into tears as she recognized him.

"Alex! Oh my God! Alex, is it you? Oh my God, Look at you! I don't believe this...What's going on?" The two embraced and cried joyfully, and Dylan saw his grandpa so happy for the first time in years.

"So, how do you like my surprise, grandma?" Cynthia laughed. "I told you that it's gonna be special."

The four of them laughed and spent a long time together. It was also the first time in 12 years that Cynthia saw her granny smile and laugh her heart out. She had been heartbroken since her husband died of a stroke 12 years ago. Meeting her best friend Alex brought some new hopes into Catherine's life.

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The four spent several days touring the city, and ultimately, Dylan and Cynthia fell in love. They began dating and planned to move in together in Padua. Two weeks later, Alex and Dylan flew back to the US to proceed with the necessary paperwork.

Ultimately, Alex realized he could no longer live without Catherine, so Dylan was more than happy to take his grandpa to Italy. A few months later, Dylan and Alex moved to Padua and lived in the house they bought. Cynthia moved in, and together, they devised another surprise for granny Catherine.

Alex & Catherine were elated when they reunited after 48 years. | Source: Pexels

Alex & Catherine were elated when they reunited after 48 years. | Source: Pexels

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On a breezy evening during dinner at the same restaurant, Alex suddenly popped the question, moving his sweetheart to tears. "Will you marry me?" he dramatically asked her, kneeling on one knee while holding up a ring. Catherine blushed and nodded in tears.

Dylan and Cynthia cheered in joy, and the four drove home. Alex took his grandson's hand and gently kissed it. "Thank you, darling. You painted a beautiful portrait in my life that was once dull and incomplete."

"Anything for that smile on your face, grandpa," Dylan said.

"I'm happy for you and Cynthia, son," Alex exclaimed. "But will you regret what you've done at any point in your life?"

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Dylan looked his grandpa in the eye and said confidently that such a moment would never come. "Not at all, grandpa! I learned from you that it is better to do something than not to do it and regret it for the rest of my life!"

A few months later, Alex married Catherine at a traditional church wedding. He felt happiness spring back into his life as he slid the wedding ring on his beloved's finger and kissed her. Meanwhile, Dylan and Cynthia decided to tie the knot a few months later because they wanted to explore Italy a little more!

In the end, long-lost best friends Alex & Catherine reunited in life as husband & wife. | Source: Pexels

In the end, long-lost best friends Alex & Catherine reunited in life as husband & wife. | Source: Pexels

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Never lose hope, especially at times when sorrow strikes you. After losing his beloved wife, Alex lost hope in life and found it difficult to move on. He was still stuck with his sweetheart's memories but gave up hope of ever seeing her again. Thanks to Dylan's efforts, Alex reunited with his long-lost love in the end and found happiness again.
  • Life is too short. If you want to do something good, do not be afraid to do it. Learning from his grandpa's example, Dylan decided to move in with his girlfriend, Cynthia. He did not want to miss the chance of finding true love like his grandpa did.

Click here to read about how a man captures pictures of homeless people and recognizes his long-lost mother in one of them.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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