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B.C. woman's lifelong birthday wish comes true after unexpected message from elementary school classmate

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North Cowichan, B.C. -

As Karen Harrison looks back at pictures from her past, she recalls her perennial birthday wish.

“I’d blow out the candles and wish for the same thing,” Karen says, sorting through black and white photos of her beaming young face.

“I just need to find the love of my life.”

It happened every year from the age of six until the day she turned 50, when Karen decided to stop wishing.

“I think I had started to lose hope,” she says.

Karen says that although she was grateful to have finally found comfort in the life she’d created for herself, the decision was bittersweet.

“There was some sadness around that.”

But then, a month later, Karen found herself looking through old yearbooks, after receiving a friend request through social media from an old classmate, John Evers.

“We were both always very shy,” John recalls. “I could never approach her.”

John and Karen were in Grade 1 through Grade 12 together, but were “only passing in the hallway” friends, until decades later Facebook suggested otherwise.

“I said, ‘Do you remember me?’ And she said, ‘Of course I remember you!’” John recalls with a smile. “My heart skipped a beat.”

It turns out John had been hoping to find the love of his life too.

The connection was instant, the conversation effortless, and despite living provinces apart, after talking to each other every day, Karen and John couldn’t have felt closer.

Until — a couple month later — they finally met again, in person.

“And she walked into the room,” John starts saying before fighting back tears.

“And I took a deep breath,” Karen says. “And it was like my soul has finally found its other half.”

“I found someone who understood me,” John smiles. “It was great!”

Over the next year, the couple moved in together in the same city. John proposed. Karen said "Yes." And then 47 years after they first met, they both said, "I do."

“I’ll always feel so grateful to John that he found me,” Karen says, fighting back tears. “He was my dream come true.”

It’s thanks to a reality of both committing to being fearlessly authentic and unconditionally loving.

“I put her first always,” John says. “She is my best friend.”

“And I always put him first,” Karen smiles. “I love him with everything I have.”

And if you ask why — despite living two blocks from each other as kids and attending the same school for so long — it took almost 50 years to find each other, they mention destiny and fate, before saying it can take time to learn what love isn’t, before appreciating what it truly is.

“Hold on to hope,” Karen smiles. “Because when it’s right, it’s right.” 

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