Janice Rude and Prentiss Willson met in college—the two spotted each other in the cafeteria, and it was love at first sight.
“She was much too beautiful for me,” Prentiss said.
The two just couldn’t stay away from each other; two months into the semester, it was Thanksgiving break, and the thought of not being able to Prentiss for even four days was too much for Janice. So she packed up and showed up on the doorstep of his family’s home—a complete surprise.
“That was bold for me,” Janice admitted.
They spent the next day just wandering the city, hand in hand, completely inseparable.
“From that point, we knew we had to be married,” Janice said.
The path ahead was clear to Janice, and she brought Prentiss home to meet her parents. Prentiss had “no idea what to expect meeting her father,” and he was certainly shocked and disappointed with Janice’s father’s assessment.
He didn’t come out and say it to the couple’s face, but he immensely disapproved of the relationship.
After Janice got back to school, she got a phone call from her father.
He said she would either break off the engagement, or he would stop paying her college tuition.
Janice had no way of getting a college degree without her parents’ help, and so with tears and broken hearts, the couple parted ways.
They stopped seeing each other completely, but year after year, Janice never forgot Prentiss.
In fact, for 50 years, “I thought of him, I would say, almost all the time,” Janice said.
Decades after they lost touch, Prentiss’s mother passed away. While putting away her things, Prentiss found something he never expected to see again in his mother’s things.
“[There] was the engagement announcement of our engagement that had been in her local papers—and she held onto it all that time,” Prentiss said.
“But more amazing—when Janice’s mother died, and our two mothers had never met—and Janice goes through her things—in her wallet is the same announcement that had been in her local newspaper.”
“She had kept [it] in her wallet for 30-plus years,” Prentiss.
“The signs were that we were supposed to be together,” Janice said.
But it was until nearly 10 years after her mother had passed that she saw Prentiss again. Both thinking of each other, they got in contact again. But the meeting itself held surprises for them both.
“She was late—she’s always late. I was early—I’m always early,” Prentiss said. They met for brunch, and seeing her for the first time in 50 years, he said: “Those are beautiful pants, they are exactly the same color as the outfit you wore at the Thanksgiving dinner in 1961.”
“I was surprised he remembered!” Janice said.
More surprising—though maybe not to Janice and Prentiss—they still felt the same way about each other.
“It was time to rectify what had gone wrong 50 years ago,” Prentiss said.
So they got engaged again.
The couple ended up getting married at the college they met at—at long last.
“We are so happy, our marriage is perfect,” Janice said.