Reunited it feels so good
BY DEBORAH AGOSTA
When Donna Hanover’s phone rang back in the summer of 2002, she had no idea her life was about to change. The call was from Ed Oster, her high school sweetheart, inquiring if she would be attending their college reunion.
“When he called, he caught me at a time when I was looking at some long lonely days and nights. To get this call was amazing,” remembers Hanover. “Of course, he had this cover about the reunion, but it felt nice to have someone that you had cared about and thought well of to be thinking of you so there was certainly a little sparkle in my feeling,” she continued.
Even after taking his call on that fateful night, Hanover didn’t think “here comes the love of my life.” Instead, she just thought, “this is going to be fun.” And fun it was. In the early stages of the reunion, joyful reminiscing dominated their dates, but the pair soon realized they wanted to be together forever.
“There’s an ability to trust this person very quickly,” Hanover says about getting back with an old sweetheart. “You know each other in a deeper way.” What’s more, Hanover says it makes you feel young because it puts you back in that place. “Love makes you feel youthful, with new purpose, with excitement.”
And the excitement certainly didn’t end there. As they were making plans for their wedding, Hanover and Oster frequently repeated the tale of their lost love, much to the delight of everyone. “After hearing about our story people started suggesting it would make a great book,” remembers Hanover, thinking she would consider the project after the honeymoon.
“As it turned out, this was happening on a parallel track,” says Hanover. “Penguin wanted to do a book on the phenomenon and was seeking someone to write it.” Hanover’s journalistic background and personal experience would make her a perfect choice.
But Hanover’s book developed into so much more than a passing glance at a new trend. Whether you’re madly in love, looking for love or have given up on love, she has a story—and useful advice—for you. The journalist, actress and former First Lady of New York City has paralleled her own account of true love rekindled with heartfelt vignettes gathered from dozens of couples and has intertwined them with commentary from leading relationship experts. The result is My Boyfriend’s Back, a witty and warm look at this phenomenon and a must-read for anyone who’s ever been touched by love.
If you’re in love, you’ll enjoy the stories of couples who have reconnected with lost loves. Looking for love? The book offers the encouragement you need to seek out someone from your past. Even if you’ve given up all hope of ever finding true love, all the tools you need are right here.
According to the experts Hanover interviewed for My Boyfriend’s Back, most early relationships break up because of timing. So, for Hanover and Oster, it wasn’t about a bad fit, it was just a bad time. Fast forward to the present and the fit couldn’t be more perfect. And, such is the case for many more couples as well.
When Hanover began researching the book, she got the word out about her interest in finding other couples who had reunited. Once she asked people to share their experiences on her website—myboyfriendsback.com—the stories began to pour in. For the book, approximately 75 couples were interviewed because there was a six-month window of time to meet her deadline, but that number pales in comparison to the more than 600 stories she has recently received via the website.
Some of the responses even came from couples with a local connection and, not surprisingly, tales of immaturity punctuate the experiences of many.
For example, Rosemary met Fred at a neighborhood supermarket nearly 30 years ago. She knew immediately he was her soul mate except for one problem: she was 25 and he was 16.
“He was just too young,” says Rosemary. “I told him he needed to grow up.” When they reunited two years ago, Rosemary said in amazement, “I sent away a boy and got back a man.”
Then there’s 8-year-olds Elaine and Jerry who lived in the same apartment building and forged a friendship that would last well into their teens.
“I knew we had something special,” says Elaine, “but we were too young to know what it was,” she adds.
“We were always crazy about each other as friends, but we didn’t know what romance was,” concurs Jerry.
Nearly a half century after meeting, the childhood neighbors were reunited eight years ago through a mutual friend and a twist of fate.
“I didn’t know what love was until we got back together,” Jerry says. “The last eight years have been the best of my life.”
The happy couple are now making plans for their golden years, and will marry when the time is right. They agree, the important thing is that they have each other. “When people see us, they know we belong together,” says Elaine.
Similarly, Bonita and Wally met at PS 52 in Springfield Gardens when they were the two new kids in the 4th grade. The pair remained friends through junior high and high school, but they went their separate ways off to college, eventually marrying others.
“Even at a very young age, I knew there was something special about her, but I was shy and tongue tied,” admits Wally. Still shy after all these years, he sent a very brief email when he located Bonita in 2001 through classmates.com. “I know she responded less cautiously because she said, ‘I think it’s okay to reveal to you that I had a crush on you in school.’”
After two weeks of emailing, the two met for lunch and from that point on, they knew they were destined to be together, recalls Bonita. But, since Wally now lived in Pennsylvania, their long distance relationship would be difficult. Not wanting to miss a second chance at love, Bonita agreed to relocate.
In May 2003, 40 years after they met, the couple returned to PS 52 to the tune of “Here Comes The Bride” played by the school band. It was the first wedding ever held in a New York City public school.
“There’s nothing like being with the person you’re really meant to be with,” says Bonita. “I get the chills just thinking about it. I am the luckiest woman in the world.”
For anyone considering a reunion with a long-lost love, Hanover advises to definitely go for it. She suggests reading Chapter 12 of My Boyfriend’s Back for ideas on the different ways people have met each other.
“It’s likely to expand your life and expand your universe,” she says reminding that you need to use caution nonetheless. “Do stay smart and don’t be completely gullible,” she warns.
“Chances are very good you’re at least going to have fun or have closure to something.”
Reunited it feels so good