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43 Years After Divorce, The Unthinkable Happened For One WomanRenate Stumpf has been married twice in her life. Her second husband died. In her first, she and Louis Demetriades, also 75, decided to call it quits after 13 years of marriage.

Stumpf has been partially supporting herself through a job at Walmart in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and it was here that she recently got the surprise of a lifetime. On Valentine’s Day, her estranged first husband, with whom she reconnected in December 2014, drove from his home in Memphis, Tennessee with a purpose.

Upon arriving at the store where Stumpf worked, he snuck up on her with a sign that read, “Happy Valentine’s Day! Will you marry me?”

At first, Stumpf jokingly rejected the proposal, but then relented and said yes.

“Forty-three years is a long time, so I wasn’t sure at first,” she said in comments to ABC. “But I will marry him though because he’s changed for the better, I’ve come to realize.”

Stumpf and Demetriades, first met at age 18 at an army base in Stumpf’s homeland of Germany. They were married and moved to the U.S. where they had three children. Thirteen years after saying “I do,” they decided to file the divorce papers and went on to marry other people. (Demetriades’ second wife has also passed away.)

“The love has never passed,” Stumpf told ABC.

What’s the lesson in this touching story?

For one, divorce forms should not make you enemies. You can divorce on good terms and continue to love and respect one another. Also, no person is etched in stone. People can make changes, and many of those changes can be for the better. Also, love is still an important part of life long after youth has faded. This story is less about never losing hope of reconciling your relationship and more about focusing on the person you are and who you want to be when your relationship is no longer within your control.

In doing so, you never know where it might take you.

[Image via ABC, linked above]

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