VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia Beach veteran is proving that love can not only stand the test of time, it can also make it through a World War.
"All through my life, I had this little thought of what if?"
This question has been hanging in the back of Norwood Thomas' mind since 1944. It has to do with the future he imagined for himself and Joyce Durrant, a young woman he fell in love with during World War II.
"She was on this pedestal like a goodness untouched, pure, unattainable and that is the way that I left her in England," Thomas told WTKR.
The two met while Thomas, a member of the 101st Airborne Division, was stationed outside of London during World War II. Thomas can't quite remember exactly how long he and Durrant dated, but they spent enough time together for him to know that what they had was special.
"All I can say is it was long enough for me to become smitten. For me to decide that this is a girl that I want to marry and want to live with."
But unfortunately, love wasn't enough while a war was going on.
"Shortly before the Normandy invasions where all of sudden instead of seeing her the next week, I just never saw her again."
After the war, Thomas returned to the United States. He sent letters to Durrant asking her to come to America, but she declined.
"So I went on and later met and married another woman, a good woman, who helped my mixed up head get straight."
Thomas admits he had a wonderful life with his wife before she passed away. It wasn't until after her death that the thought of his and Durrant's future managed to creep back up in his mind. Their future together remained only a thought, until a few months ago, when Thomas' son, Steven, received an email from a man in Australia, who happened to be Durrant's son, Robert.
Turns out, on the other side of the world, Durrant, who now lives in Australia, had been thinking similar thoughts and had her son do some research to see if Thomas was still alive and willing to talk after more than half a century.
On Friday, November 6, the two saw each other for the first time on a Skype call. The call lasted for more than an hour. They talked about how much they changed over the years, what they have been up to for the last 70 years and even reminisced about their time together all those years ago.
While the Skype call was the first conversation the two had in years, it isn't the first time they have laid eyes on each other since their last meeting.
"I have a picture frame on my bureau and I say good morning to you every morning," said Durrant to Thomas.
After the Skype call, they no longer have to rely on pictures.
"To think that after all these years that we were able to say hello eye-to-eye. This is a wonderful situation," said Thomas during the call.
While Skype has helped the distance between the two, it hasn't fixed everything.
"The only problem is that I can't take you in my arms and give you a squeeze."