ROCKLAND, Maine — When Arlene and Richard Rumney first met each other in the 1980s, they said they instantly felt a connection.
The two would date for five years before they decided to go their separate ways, but both said it had nothing to do with how they felt about each other.
"I wasn't ready to settle down then," Arlene said. "I was thinking about the two boys I still had to raise."
Richard went on to marry someone else. Arlene continued to raise her family and work as a CNA. However, when Richard's wife died in 2019, he couldn't help but think of Arlene and the love he still felt for her.
So, he decided to go looking for her.
The first thing he did was make a telephone call, but Arlene's number had changed.
"I knew where she lived in the trailer park so I took a chance of her being in the same place," Richard said. "I went up and knocked on the door but there was nobody there, so, I left a note on the windshield of the car that was in the yard. Well, I didn't hear anything."
Richard went down to the trailer a couple more times to leave notes but he said every time no one was home.
"So, I more or less gave up," Richard said.
Then, by chance, Richard saw Arlene’s daughter, Alisa, at the local hospital. The two talked for a while and eventually, Alisa asked if he wanted her mother's number. Richard quickly said yes.
"I thought, 'oh this is going to make her day' when I tell her that I've seen him," Arlene's daughter, Alisa Munn, said.
When the two finally reconnected, Richard realized why his letters went unanswered.
"Come to find out, what had happened was, she was still in the same spot but they had put another street since the last time I was down there," Richard said. "So, I went down that street and went to the wrong trailer. I left a note at the wrong trailer."
Arlene is going to be 80 in March and Richard will be 83 in April. Despite the time that has passed, the pair said they instantly picked up where they left off.
Arlene still has a picture of the two of them from their early years of dating. She said she always held onto it and would occasionally look at it and wonder what Richard was up to.
"I never stopped thinking about him over all these years, and I guess I'm saying I always loved him," Arlene said. "So, I was happy that even in our elderly years we could get together."
Richard knew he wanted to marry Arlene. He said he also knew that might take some convincing since Arlene had sworn to never marry again. But, on December 10, the two officially became Mr. and Mrs. Rumney.
"I was some happy to see her walking down that aisle," Richard said.
"I was happy to get down there and stand in front of Dick and go through the ceremony," Arlene said. "Still takes some getting used to though, for me, you know being by yourself for so many years."
Their family is still in awe about what happened.
"I actually had to see it to believe it," Arlene's daughter, Alisa said. "I remember her saying so many times 'I will never get married again, Lisa, ever' so, I was like, 'Okay, well, if she said she's going to do it, let's get this done.'"
"I can remember after he called she was like a giddy teenager, she was so excited," Arlene's granddaughter, Kristi Sheridan, said. "You'd come to her house and she's on the phone with Richard... like, she really was just head over heels. So, I was ecstatic. I thought it was wonderful."
Wonderful and just the beginning of a new chapter for the Rumneys.
"We love on one another to death and we're going to spend the rest of our life together," Richard said.