Norwood Thomas, a 93-year-old World War II army veteran, will finally reunite with his long-lost love, 88-year-old Joyce Morris. The two haven’t seen each other in over 71 years. Get ready to do some intense ugly-crying over this real-life Nicholas Sparks story.
Thomas first met Morris in 1944 while he was stationed in London. He was 21 and she was 17. According to CBS News, Thomas left to fight the war in Normandy and later returned to the United States. He asked Morris to come to America, but she said no. “So I went on and later met and married another woman, a good woman, who helped my mixed up head get straight,” Thomas explained. After his wife died in 2010, Thomas began thinking about his old love. And as the stars would have it, Morris was thinking of him, too.
Thomas’s son, Steven, received an email from a man named Robert, who ended up being Morris’s son. The two connected the former sweethearts, who saw each other for the first time on Skype in November. After the story of their unrequited romance spread online, more than 300 people donated over $7,000 to fund their reunion. Air New Zealand has made arrangements to send Thomas and his son to Australia, where Morris resides.
“When she called me “Tommy,” her nickname for me, Oh, my God, it stirred emotions that had been dormant for a long, long time,” he said in a November interview with ABC News. The two will spend Valentine’s Day together.