For 41 years, they have lived apart. Now, a World War 2 veteran has determinedly made his way across the world to be reunited with his long-lost love.
Their love story began around the time Norwood Thomas had joined the U.S. Army. He enlisted in 1942 and was assigned to the 82nd Infantry Division, making him “one of the original members of the 101st Airborne from day one.” In September 1943, 21-year-old Thomas boarded a ship bound for England, and that’s where he first saw her.
One day, Thomas was walking with a friend across a bridge in Richmond when they noticed two young women talking to a man about winning a row boat. So they decided to come over and say hello. They didn’t have much time though, so they decided to meet again the following weekend. One of the ladies captured Thomas’ heart from the very beginning.
“She had a smile that would melt you. And of course, I was melting,” the now 93-year old recalled. She is Joyce Morris, and their love affair was about to begin. Back then, Morris was only 17. Of their relationship, Thomas said, “It very rapidly evolved into something from attraction to a very strong affection.”
Morris and Thomas kept seeing each other every weekend until September. Then Thomas had to go and fight in the war. He recalled that he did not see Morris again until after the Battle of the Bulge, but their reunion was short-lived. Thomas received orders to return home “right out of the blue.” He said he didn’t even have much time to say goodbye.
When he got home, Thomas wrote Morris a letter, asking her to come to the U.S. However, Morris misinterpreted this, leaving Thomas feeling rejected. They stopped keeping in touch afterwards, then Thomas met another woman. They would be married for 56 years and have three children. Later on though, Thomas would lose his wife to lymphoma. She died at age 75. Little did Thomas know that after becoming a widower, he would find love again.
According to a report from Mail Online, it was Morris who found Thomas first. It just so happened that Thomas was featured in the news when he decided to go skydiving at age 88. Morris, who now has a child of her own, too, asked her son if it was possible to find people online. Morris’ son decided to contact the reporter who did the story on Thomas. Before they knew it, Thomas and Morris were having their very first Skype call with each other. Thomas’ son Steven and Morris’ son Robert had set up the call for their parents. It turns out Morris is now living in Australia. Now 88, she had divorced her husband after 30 years.
Onboard Air New Zealand, Thomas made his way from LA to Australia to his young love once again. And according to Associated Press, the newly reunited couple plan to be together for Valentine’s Day. As for the future, it is likely that Thomas and Morris will take things one day at a time.
“Just enjoy today and let tomorrow take care of itself,” Thomas said.