In 1971, Jeanne and Stephen Watts fell in love, but they couldn’t get married because Jeanne’s family didn’t like the idea. But Jeanne and Stephen Watts got married 42 years later and are now making up for all those “lost years.”
Jeanne told people, “When he asked me to marry him, I said, “A thousand times yes!” When Jeanne was a freshman and Stephen was a senior at Loyola University in Chicago, they met for the first time.
“My first love was him. He was the love of my life, “Jeanne said. Jeanne’s mother didn’t like the idea of her daughter getting married to Stephen because he was black.
Jeanne said, “She went crazy,” adding, “She didn’t want this relationship at all.”
But even so, they were together for seven years. But after Jeanne finished nursing school and got a job, it became hard for Stephen to get to the meetings because Jeanne had a long commute and Stephen didn’t have a car.
Jeanne said, “Everything was too much for me to handle.” “The family problem was always on my mind because it broke up my relationship with my mother for good. She was always my mother, and I’ve always loved her, but this changed our relationship for the rest of my life.”
They had talked about getting married, but Jeanne was afraid to move forward. “Her whole family” would have died. One day, she was working as a nurse and told Stephen, “I love you, but I just can’t do this.”
Both of them didn’t want this sad ending. “I felt bad about it at the time. I felt bad about how I did it, but I did it anyway,” Jeanne said. After 40 years, they had lost touch and were living different lives.
In 2021, things started getting better. Jeanne and her husband broke up, and her mother died. She decided to try again to find Stephen. On social media, she couldn’t find him. “I couldn’t find him no matter how hard I tried,” Jeanne said. “He was almost impossible to find.”
In April, she was able to find his niece’s mailing address and send her a letter. She told him he was in a nursing homeece’s mailing address and send her a letter. She told him he was in a nursing home. After a month, Jeanne called the nursing home to talk to Stephen. A member of the staff told him that patients don’t have phones by their beds.
So, she wrote him a letter, but she didn’t hear back from him. When she tried to call him again, she couldn’t even get through. In June 2021, Jeanne will finally go from Oregon to Chicago. Jeanne said, “I had to know if he was okay. Did he have a wife? Would he let me go?”
When Jeanne walked into his room, he knew her and called her name. Then he started to cry. She said, “I knew he still loved me.” Jeanne moved in with Stephen in August of the same year and has been with him ever since. Stephen said to everyone, “She is very good. I told her, “She is my heart and soul, and I want to live with her forever.””