Falling in love for the first time is the most exciting, vulnerable time of your life. What occurred between Janice Rude and Prentiss Wilson is incredible and kind of surprising! After 50 years, they find out an amazing truth about their relationship. As you read, try to remember that it’s never too late for love and to always listen to your heart!
When Janice and Prentiss met in college, they fell in love. What they didn’t know, was how the love they shared would one day drive them apart. Janice was considered ahead of her time. She attended Occidental College to study biology in the 1960s. Janice was a young, beautiful, and hopeful college student.
When Janice was a sophomore in college, Prentiss was just a freshman. Prentiss came from a wealthy family. Following his family’s orders, he was to do well in college studying to become a doctor or a lawyer. He was able to put his best foot into the world by attending Occidental, which was an expensive private school.
Janice was, by no means, wealthy. Even though her father, who pushed her to attend Occidental, helped pay for her schooling, she still needed to work a job to make ends meet. When she wasn’t in her classes, she was working in the school cafeteria every day, serving food. This was where she would first catch the eye of Prentiss.
Prentiss says, “I believe we were simply meant to be. I even remember the first time I laid eyes on Janice.” It was as she was serving breakfast in the cafeteria. He says he was always on time for breakfast after that, “every day, at 6 a.m., because I just wanted to see her and have our little morning exchange.”
Even though Prentiss believed they were meant to be, he second-guessed himself. He said, “I actually didn’t think I had a chance with her. She was a year ahead of me and just so beautiful.” He decided to just admire her from a distance, even though he enjoyed the daily conversations at breakfast they engaged in.
Prentiss may have thought that there was nothing going on between them, but Janice didn’t agree. When Prentiss didn’t show up for the school’s pre-Thanksgiving dinner, Janice decided to take control of the situation. She sent another student to look for him, but they came back empty-handed. So, Janice drove the 150 miles to his family home in Santa Maria.
When Janice arrived at their home, Prentiss and his family were having dinner. They were more than happy to welcome Janice to their table for Thanksgiving. Even though she was a bit surprised that Janice was brave enough to come all that way, Prentiss says that his mother was absolutely charmed by their unexpected visitor.
Janice and Prentiss were involved the typical college love affair. Since it was the 1960s, things had to be done a certain way, so the couple agreed that it was time to be married. They even put a notice in the local newspaper announcing their engagement, but stated that “No date has been set for the wedding.” Janice’s father was not thrilled about that in the least.
Janice’s father didn’t agree with his daughter’s plans to get married. He made it clear that if Janice didn’t end things with Prentiss, he would cut her off financially. She tried to keep seeing Prentiss anyway, but her father made good on his threat. Janice’s mother attempted to help the couple by remortgaging her home, but it wasn’t enough. If Janice didn’t have help from her father, she would need to leave Prentiss, or leave college.
“We tried to figure things out but I guess we weren’t smart enough,” Prentiss recalls. Unfortunately, the couple had to split ways. After attending Harvard Law, Prentiss went on to become a tax attorney. Janice ended up quitting school and moved to Nevada to start a swimming pool business. They both moved on to marry other people, but frequently crossed each other’s minds. They assumed their love was over.
Even though Janice’s father didn’t approve of Prentiss, her mother had her own mind. Prentiss’ mother had always loved Janice. When their mothers died, unbelievably within a month of each other, 50 years after the couple had said their goodbyes, they uncovered a secret on each of their mothers that would bring Janice and Prentiss back together after all those years.
Each of their mothers kept a laminated copy of the couple’s engagement announcement from the newspaper with them. Isn’t that incredible? Since it was printed, Janice’s mother had kept it in her wallet every single day. Since they both found the announcements, Janice and Prentiss became curious as to what had happened to one another.
When Janice and Prentiss reconnected with each other, they had brunch together and realized with all the passing years their feelings didn’t change at all. After meeting for the first time, the got engaged six months later. Since they still had their original engagement announcement, they decided to re-run it in the newspaper, with the addition, “The Date was finally set…”
Two years after reuniting, Prentiss Wilson and Janice Rude were finally married to one another. Prentiss says, “Some things were just meant to be.” Even though they’re together now, they still regret the 50 years spent apart. He says, “We lament every day that we missed being together. That’s about 17,500 days — but who’s counting?”
It’s beautiful to see the couple as they started out, and the couple as they are today. Even though the couple will never be able to have the family they dreamed of, they will be able to spend the rest of their days on this Earth together, enjoying each other’s company, with absolutely no interference from outside forces. All thanks to their mothers, and a laminated engagement.