Anyone who thinks it’s too late to recapture lost love should get inspired by a couple who is writing living the best chapter of their lives together, half a century after their first meeting.
Separated by birth
Denny and Karen Vinar were your classic, inseparable high school sweethearts, Karen recalls Denny fondly to WDTV.
“I only lived two blocks from the school, so he would walk me home after school practically every day”
– Karen Vinar
However, everything changed when Karen became pregnant at age 15 and placed in a home for unwed mothers. Denny was only able to visit her on a couple of occasions, including the day their baby girl was born.
The couple only had an hour to hold her before they were forced to give her up for adoption.
“We had a photograph taken of her, and that was the last of our memories of her,” Karen Vinar said.
Not wanting to lose the love of his life too, Denny proposed to Karen when he returned from military duty. She, of course, accepted. Her family, however, objected- insisting that she get an education instead.
With that, the young family was disbanded.
He never forgot her
It turns out that time doesn’t heal all wounds. For the rest of his life, Denny was still burning to be with his first and only love.
“No, I never stopped thinking about her. She had, I say, a corner of my heart. She was always there”
– Denny Vinar
And so, 53 years later, Denny found Karen through an online search, left her a message, and waited.
Not for long.
Karen contacted him immediately. Time stood still as the couple talked nonstop like teenagers. Soon, Denny was on a plane, en route to his see his girl.
Within hours of landing, they were finally husband and wife.
Life was complete…Almost.
Their missing link
Although happily married, Denny couldn’t shake off that something was missing.
“One day, he said, ‘Karen, it took me this long to find you. My life would be complete if we could find our daughter,’” Karen recalls.
Working with local social services, they tracked down the adoption agency and sent a letter to their long-lost daughter, Jean Voxland.
Voxland initially ignored the letter. Her husband had a different idea.
“One day, I came home from work, and he said, ‘I think you better sit down.’ In the whole 30-some years of our marriage, he had never told me ‘I think you need to sit down “
– Jean Voxland
Jean’s husband was adamant — she had to contact her birth parents. After some letter-exchanging, they decided to meet.
When they finally met, Voxland knew right away that she was among family.
“When he [Denny] walked through the door and I looked at him, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ Because I’ve never, ever looked like anybody,” Voxland said. “And now, I do.”
Love and family are timeless
Back together, the Vinars and Voxlands devoted their time meeting each other’s extended family and celebrating milestones together.
It’s a bond that continues to amaze Denny.
“The love we have for each other is absolutely second to none. Even today, it’s so strong. It’s unbelievable”
– Denny Vinar
It is estimated that we will each meet on average 10,000 people in our lifetime.
You’ll connect with none in the same way as your child, siblings, true love or true friends. No matter how much time passes, you can share something truly special and unique with those people.
Denny and Karen Vinar will tell you that this type of connection is worth waiting a lifetime for.
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