Entertainment And News

Woman Tracks Down The Love Of Her Life 40 Years After Her Disapproving Family Forced Her To Leave Him

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A story too often told is one of the tales of two lovers, separated because of the racist beliefs of one family. 

One woman, Jeanne, had met the love of her life when she was a student in college. She was white and the man she fell in love with, Steve, was not white. 

So because of that their love fell apart — but 40 years later, they were able to meet again. 

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40 years after her family forced her to end her interracial relationship, she found Steve.

On December 6, Steve Hartman reported on CBS News about a woman named Jeanne Gustavson, who suffered from "chronic regret."

“I can’t turn back the clock. I wish I could,” said Jeanne.

Hartman asked Jeanne if she would have done anything differently, to which she replied “I would have married him.”



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Interracial marriage was legalized in 1967 with Loving Day, which would have made a marriage between Jeanne and Steve legal. 

But just because it was legal, doesn’t mean it changed attitudes.

This was demonstrated in Jeanne’s family when they found out that she was dating Steve, “a guy she met in the German club” at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. 

In the news report, she pointed out herself and Steve in the back of a college photo.

She noted that it was “Spring of 72’” and that Steve “would’ve made the perfect husband”.

Jeanne revealed that her family was not happy with her when she started to date Steve.

Jeanne’s mother was “absolutely livid” at the fact that she was dating a man who wasn’t white. Her family shamed and demeaned her for daring to love someone different from them. 

When asked how her family responded to the news, Jeanne revealed that her mother believed she “disgraced” the family.

“It was not pretty,” said Jeanne.

Due to those family pressures, she broke things off with Steve and never saw him again. That is, until she tracked him down at a Chicago nursing home. 

What Jeanne found, she said, “was sort of a broken man.” The life that Steve led after their separation was drastically different from the one that Jeanne did. 

Hartman reported that Steve “was homeless,” “had two strokes”, and was “almost unrecognizable” to Jeanne. 

Despite his hardships, Jeanne said that he was “still the wonderful, gorgeous man” she used to know. 

With teary eyes, she revealed that all those feelings came “rushing back” for both her and Steve when they reunited. 

Jeanne had made “arrangements” to move Steve from the nursing home to her home in Portland. 

She got a second chance at love.

 Jeanne expressed that she felt “terribly lucky” to have another chance with her love, Steve. 

Though he is bedridden, Jeanee described his mind as “sharp” and his heart as “young.”

Steve told Jeanne with teary eyes, that he had always loved her. 

“43 years after her mom laid their love asunder”, Steve and Jeanne had had the happy ending they dreamed of by getting married.

Hartman ended the report with “Newlyweds, now well on their way to making up for a lifetime of lost time”. 

Taylor Haynes is a writer based in Chicago. She writes for Entertainment & News at YourTango. You can find her on Instagram here.