They say that the path of true love never runs smoothly and well, this story of two star crossed lovers is certainly evidence of that.
24 year old KT Robbins fell deeply in love with an 18 year old French woman named Jeannine Ganaye when he was stationed in the a town in the north east of France called Briey where he was stationed during a whirlwind romance in 1944. This unfortunately lasted only two months as Robbins was called to go and fight on the Eastern Front with the Axis Powers and the pair sadly failed to see each other again for the next 75 years.
Robbins told Jeannine that he intended return for her and she began to learn English for this eventuality – not really sure how they were communicating before then? – but he instead returned to America where he met his wife of 70 years Lillian. The pair worked side by in a hardware store in Mississippi before her death in 2015. Jeannine’s heartbreak didn’t last long either as she married in 1949 and had five children, staying with her husband for fifty years before he also passed away.
Neither of them could forget about each other though as Robbins kept the black and white picture you can see above you for the past 70 years wherever he went. When he was due to return to France for the 75th anniversary, he asked if any journalists could track Jeannine down for him, fearing the worst.
In a development that won’t leave a dry eye in the house though, Jeannine was tracked down in their retirement home and the pair were reunited, choosing to celebrate the moment with a big smooch for the cameras. Truly heartwarming stuff. Jeannine asked why Robbins never came back for her, to which he replied that it was bit more difficult after he was married, but also telling her that he always loved her and she never got out of his heart. Still got that charm hey soldier.
Robbins unfortunately had to leave to attend the D Day celebrations in Normandy then, but the pair promised to meet up at a later date. Hopefully they manage to spend the rest of their lives together and make up for lost time and don’t end up annoying each other. I’d say they’ve got a fairly good shot at it being a perfect relationship given how old they both are – maybe it was worth it in the end despite all these years apart?
Whilst this is no doubt a romantic and pretty beautiful story, part of me just doesn’t really buy it. I know it was way harder to get places and do stuff back then, but surely if these two loved each other so much they would have at least tried to track each other down rather than live multiple decades with other people. Seems kinda weak to me – especially from Robbins considering he knew exactly where she lived – although I suppose sometimes you don’t want to ruin that memory of a perfect summer/wartime romance or whatever.
You can’t really let that get in the way of a good story or the unbridled joy on both of their faces in that picture either so I think I’ll let it slide for once. What a great story.
For more of the same, check out this kid’s tearful reunion with his dog. Not a dry eye in the house.