25. The Beginning
The year was 1962 when lovebirds Janice Rude and Wilson Prentiss met at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Like many young couples in love, the two decided that it was the real deal and it was time to tie the knot only a couple months after meeting.
24. The Honeymoon Period
However, the honeymoon period didn’t last long for these two—their experience is a bit unconventional as it took nearly 50 years to come to fruition. One man’s decision changed the lives of these two forever…
23. Young Love
The two young college students met in the cafeteria where Janice worked, and soon they were inseparable. When Janice told her father about her plans to marry Wilson, he wasn’t pleased (to say the least). Unfortunately, like many women of her time, Janice’s life choices were made by her father. Her father directed her to end the relationship. Janice’s father did not want her to marry Wilson because Wilson was Jewish and Janice’s family was Christian. Although Janice really didn’t want to end the relationship, she listened to her father and did.
22. A Father’s Explanation
Dealing with the grief of heartbreak, the two went their separate ways. Janice explained years later that the only reason she can think of as to why her father didn’t want her to continue to see Wilson, is that he was, “a street-smart, rough guy who didn’t think intellectual knowledge was worth anything”, according to AARP Magazine.
21. Returning The Ring
Even with the loving support of her mother, Janice couldn’t swing the relationship if she wanted to continue her college career. There was no way she could pay her tuition, so she returned the ring. The ironic part is, her father didn’t value intellectual knowledge, yet he knew the most important thing to her was her college education, and that’s what he chose to use against her.
It didn’t make sense to Janice why her father would disapprove of Wilson, as he was a straight-A student who held a leadership position in his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. He wasn’t in just any old, obnoxious frat—in fact, his chapter even parted ways with the national organization due to their racist and outdated standards. He was a catch and there was no denying it. So what went so wrong?
19. Love At First Sight
After all, it was Wilson’s charm and intolerance to any injustice that made Janice fall in love with him. The two even recall their first meeting as “love at first sight,” according to an interview Wilson gave to Huffington Post. He stated, “I believe we were simply meant to be, I even remember the first time I laid eyes on Janice.” A love like that is hard to find and it’s a shame Janice’s father couldn’t see it.
18. Building A Relationship
He would even wake up at 6 am every day to go see her as she worked in the cafeteria, calling attention to the importance of their “morning exchanges”. Wilson was a year below Janice in school and he never thought she would give him a chance because he was convinced the bright-eyed beauty was out of his league. Still, she proved him wrong when Thanksgiving rolled around and she gave him the surprise of his life.
17. Thanksgiving Weekend
Upon seeking Wilson’s address from a friend, Janice drove 150 miles to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with him and his family. Mind you, the courageous young woman showed up uninvited and unannounced, acting on a whim of romance. Although surprised, Wilson was excited to introduce his love to his parents. The couple announced their engagement soon after that love filled weekend in December of 1962.
Quickly after their announcement, the local paper wrote about the happy young couple and their future plans, giving Janice’s father all the ammo he needed. He threatened to cut Janice off financially if she didn’t agree to end the engagement, an ultimatum that tore her apart.
15. A Choice
He was going to make her choose between her intellectual development and the love of her life, something no person should have to make. She desperately wanted to finish her studies and as time went by she started to realize her father wasn’t making her life easy.
14. Mother’s Help
Faced with one of the most heart-wrenching decisions, Janice’s mother realized she needed to step in and help. Although there wasn’t much she could do, she tried everything to stick up for her daughter, even pulling out a second mortgage in order to fund her college expenses. Her mother saw something in the relationship that her father obviously didn’t.
13. Failed Efforts
Even with all of her mother’s efforts, Janice was still forced to break up with the love of her life, all because her father said so. The worst part was, her father never gave her a legitimate reason why he was so against the union…
12. Trying To Figure It Out
Wilson stated that the couple tried to figure it out at the time, but due to how young, naive, and financially unstable they were, they failed. The two drifted apart and went on their separate paths. It wasn’t the fairytale ending everyone thought they’d have…
11. Separate Paths
Wilson went on to attend Harvard University and became one of the top tax attorneys San Francisco has ever seen. Janice graduated and took over her parents’ diving board manufacturing company in Reno, Nevada and was inducted into the USA Diving Association’s Hall of Fame for her work.
10. Crisis Mode
Both married and divorced, it would take years for these soulmates to reunite. It wasn’t until both of them experienced family deaths that their lives would change forever. As Tolle puts it, “For most people, their suffering is their spiritual teacher—eventually, the suffering brings about awakening.” Janice and Wilson both experienced the death of their mothers within a short period of time, and they both grieved extremely hard.
9. A Little Reminder From 1962
However, it was the death of their mothers that ended up bringing the two together again. When someone close to you passes away, one of the responsibilities you have to take on is going through their belongings. It can be very emotional but also very healing to remind yourself of old memories and reconnect with the good times. That’s exactly what happened in this case—both Janice and Wilson found the newspaper clipping from 1962 of their engagement within their mothers’ belongings.
8. The First Attempt
Rekindling an old fling can be intense, exciting, and a bit terrifying. The two actually crossed paths a couple times before the passing of their mothers, but it wasn’t quite the right time. When they both were finally single, Prentiss asked her to brunch.
7. Nervous Feelings
Although the two didn’t reunite right away, they couldn’t get each other off their minds. When Janice accepted the invitation she was nervous for the outcome, telling her daughter that she wanted to see if the spark was still there and that, “This might be goodbye forever”.
Janice’s mother had it laminated and kept it in her wallet for all these years and Wilson’s mother had kept it safe with her dearest family treasures. Wilson thought it was fate after 35 years that brought them together and that, “The mothers got it. The mothers simply knew, and I think we also knew”.
5. The First Date
On their first date, the couple went to San Fransico’s Cliff House, and the first thing Wilson said to Janice was, “You’re wearing the same colored slacks you wore to Thanksgiving in 1961”. The two reconnected and within six months they were engaged and ready to finally be married.
4. A True Romantic
Wilson is actually quite the romantic–he even knew how many days they had been apart when asked,”We lament every day that we missed being together. That’s about 17,500 days — but who’s counting?”. Their story promotes the notion that when you know someone is right for you, you just KNOW. The wedding was about to be epic…
3. Finally Married
The wedding invitations used were the original newspaper clipping of their engagement from 1962, and it couldn’t have been more romantic. On August 19th, 2012 the two married at no place other than where they first met, Occidental College but in the student union–much more fitting than the cafeteria.
2. The Event Of The Century
The wedding also featured six songs that the couple put together, which was said to perfectly tell the story of their romance. Although it took the two 50 years to make it official, their story proved that love is everlasting.
1. Happily Ever After
The two now live in Napa Valley and enjoy spending their retirement years together. In interviews since their story hit the news they have been reported saying, “We feel like we’re 18 again,” and that they’re “blissfully in love.”