For a long time, Morris looked for his wife, who disappeared a few months after their wedding. She was pregnant, and he had no idea what had happened. But at 78 years old, he received a message on Facebook and couldn’t believe who sent it.
“This can’t be happening. Clark Garrison has to be lying,” Morris whispered to himself as he looked at the message he had just received on Facebook. Although he was an older man at 78 years old, he had managed to keep up with the times and knew how to handle a laptop and all kinds of social media.
But he also knew that some people took advantage of older folks online and needed to be careful. The people in his life knew that Morris had been looking for his wife for many years, and scammers had all kinds of tactics of tricking their victims. He was not about to fall for something like that. On the other hand, he started to hope…
Many years ago…
At 17, Morris met Naomi at their private school in New York. She was a scholarship student and the most exciting person he had ever met. She had dreams of becoming a fashion designer and staging a show during Fashion Week.
Morris also felt artistic, but his parents were major moguls in the city, and they had urged him to go to business school and later get an MBA. His path was laid out, but Naomi was free to dream.
They were attracted to each other immediately, but Morris’ parents soon discovered their friendship and discouraged it. His father was furious about it.
“You can’t hang around girls like that, Morris. We have a name to uphold,” his dad said in disdain when Morris tried to talk to him about Naomi.
Morris hated how his parents looked at other people just because they didn’t have much money. He also didn’t care what they thought, so he and Naomi started dating. His parents hated it but let it go to avoid any trouble. They thought they would fall out of love once they were in college.
But that didn’t happen. Morris went to Columbia to take a business course while Naomi was accepted at Parsons, and they saw each other as much as possible. When they graduated, he proposed and they started planning the wedding.
Naturally, Morris’ parents were shocked and told him not to follow through, but he threatened not to take over the family business and disappear from their life.
His parents were always concerned about what others would think, and their son disappearing would be the worst possible thing for them. Therefore, they reluctantly accepted his engagement. At least, that’s what Morris thought all along. He didn’t know what Naomi went through.
Regardless, they got married at 24 and were blissfully happy. Naomi announced her pregnancy a year later, and they couldn’t have been more ecstatic. But one day, Morris got home, and something was missing. Nothing seemed amiss, but he felt an emptiness he couldn’t describe.
Finally, he went to his room. Naomi’s backpack was gone, and her passport too. He saw that she had left her current purse on the bed, and worst of all, her wedding ring. Morris knelt next to their resting place, grabbed the ring, and started crying. He knew she was gone, and he might never see her again.
Morris thought back to that day Naomi left and almost started crying again. That happened every time. Back then, he cried for a good two hours and then stood up. He tried his best to find her, but they didn’t have cellphones back then. They didn’t have internet, and there was nothing he could do without an address. She might have left the country altogether, and he would never know.
But Morris didn’t want to give up. He hired a P.I. to find her to no avail. He printed missing ads in the newspaper, and nothing turned up. He talked to everyone who had known her, but most of her family had disappeared too. Those who remained in New York refused to speak with him. It was a nightmare, and everywhere he looked turned into a dead end.
Eventually, his parents urged him to stop. They got him an annulment but he refused to sign it. He was married, and that was that. They never convinced him to marry anyone else, and now, 53 years after his wife’s disappearance, he had just reeived a message from a man named Clark Garrison, who claimed to be his son.
He had to read the text once again:
Mr. Morris Matthews,
My name is Clark Garrison. I’m Naomi’s Garrison’s son, and I believe I’m yours too. She raised me in Hawaii and never told me much about you until a few months ago when she explained several unbelievable things. Finally, I convinced her to let me find you, and I have.
She doesn’t have social media and doesn’t know how to handle all of it. But I can send you pictures of us as proof if you want. Just reply to this message. I really want to meet you, and I think you deserve to know what happened.
Although Morris feared it might be a scam, he had to know for sure. This was the answer he had been looking for all this time. He needed to know if Clark was his family.
Morris’ parents died many years ago, and he never got married or had anything else. He had to try, so he clicked the text message box and typed.
After several messages, a Zoom call, and many photos of Clark growing up, he bought a ticket for Honolulu and set out to meet his son.
It was at the airport that he saw Naomi, and it was like no time had passed at all. She was still his one and only. And she smiled at him like she thought the same thing. They greeted each other as if they were still teenagers in love, and everyone cried.
Afterward, he hugged Clark, who looked exactly like him. “I can’t believe this,” Morris said, wiping his tears after pulling away from his son.
“I can’t either! But you’re not done. You have to meet my wife and my kids, who are all dying to meet their grandpa,” Clark revealed surprisingly.
They took him to Clark’s house and had a full-on party in his honor. They accepted him into the family as if they had always known him, and Morris couldn’t have been happier.
But there were still some things he needed to find out. So when the party winded down, he took Naomi aside and asked the question that plagued him for 53 years: “Why did you leave?”
“I thought your parents might have told you,” Naomi began and stopped, looking down at her feet.
“They never said anything, although I suspected for some time that it was their doing,” Morris added. “But I dismissed it. I thought if they couldn’t separate us when we were kids, they couldn’t after we got married and pregnant.”
“Well, it was them, Morris. And I want you to know that I’m so sorry. I resisted so much. They threatened me for years. Sometimes, they offered me money to leave you, but I didn’t. But when I got pregnant, they threatened our child,” she revealed, and Morris closed his eyes in pain.
“God…,” he breathed, holding a hand to his face.
“Yeah, and that was my limit. They said the baby would never be accepted, and they were going to kidnap him so we would never see him. I don’t know what they were going to do, but I couldn’t risk that. I took everything and left to a place as far as I could think of. Luckily, Mom and Dad came with me. And most of the family loved the idea of Hawaii, so they followed eventually. I actually changed my name legally here to Keilani Garrison, hoping that you or your parents wouldn’t find me,” she said.
“Look, I understand why you ran after that threat. But we could’ve run together,” Morris stated, his voice full of emotion. Naomi shook her head immediately.
“No, no. Your parents wouldn’t have let you go. They had so much money, and they weren’t afraid of using it to ruin lives, Morris. I couldn’t risk the rest of my family either. They would’ve turned to them too. This was the only option. We made a life here, even if it was hard at first because we took the few funds we had to escape,” she insisted. “It was the right choice for us back then.”
“I just missed so much,” Morris whispered and started crying.
“And I’m sorry for that. I should have tried to find you years ago when I read that your parents died. But I thought you might have formed a family and moved on.”
“I didn’t. How could I? I never stopped loving you,” Morris said through his tears. Naomi smiled brokenly and teared up too.
“I never stopped either,” she murmured and hugged her long-lost husband.
They cried in each other’s arms for a long time, and Morris knew right then and there that he was moving to Hawaii. He couldn’t miss another moment of their life. He wanted to get to know Clark and his grandkids. He might not have long in this world, and he wanted to spend it with the people who mattered most. There was no time to waste.
What can we learn from this story?
True love transcends time and distance. Not even decades of separation nor distance could make Moris and Naomi forget about their love for each other. And this love brought them back together in the end.
There’s no time to waste. Life is too short for anyone to wait for their happiness. Go find it and live as if there’s no tomorrow.
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