One of the narratives of two lovers who were torn apart by one family’s racism is one that is heard much too frequently.
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One woman, Jeanne, had fallen in love while attending college and had met him there. She was a white woman, but Steve, the man she fell in love with, was not.
Therefore, as a result of that, their relationship ended; nevertheless, 40 years later, they were able to reconnect.
She discovered Steve 40 years after her family forced her to quit their interracial love.
On December 6, Steve Hartman discussed a woman called Jeanne Gustavson who experienced “chronic regret” on CBS News.
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“I am powerless to go back in time. I wish I could, Jeanne said.
Jeanne responded, “I would have married him,” when Hartman asked if there was anything she would have done differently.
With Loving Day’s legalization of interracial unions in 1967, Jeanne and Steve’s union would have been acceptable.
However, simply because something was legal doesn’t mean that opinions changed.
When Jeanne’s family learned that she was dating Steve, “a gentleman she met in the German club” at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, they saw this in action.
She identified Steve and herself from a college photo in the news article.
It was “Spring of ’72,” and she said that Steve “would’ve made the perfect husband.”
When Jeanne began dating Steve, she admitted that her family wasn’t thrilled with her.
Because Jeanne was seeing a non-white man, her mother was “extremely angry.” Because she dared to love someone who wasn’t like them, her family embarrassed and denigrated her.
Jeanne claimed that her mother felt she “disgraced” the family when asked how her family reacted to the news.
It was not attractive, Jeanne said.
She broke up with Steve due to those familial demands and they never spoke again. Until she found him in a Chicago nursing facility, that is.
Jeanne claimed that what she discovered “was sort of a broken man.” Steve’s life after they split up was vastly 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 “arrangements” in place for Steve to be transferred from the nursing facility to her Portland home.
She had another chance to fall in love. Jeanne acknowledged feeling “terribly lucky” to have another opportunity to be with her beloved Steve.
Despite being bedridden, Jeanee praised his “bright” brains and “young” heart.
Steve expressed his unwavering affection for Jeanne while wiping away his tears.
Steve and Jeanne were married, realizing their desire of a happy ending “43 years after her mum tore their love apart.”
“Newlyweds, now well on their way to making up for a lifetime of missed time,” Hartman concluded the report.