Couple who split for 23 YEARS reunite and marry after decades apart

Couple shares incredible story of how they were torn apart by long distance in the 1980s and married other people – only to reunite and fall back in love amid their divorces 23 YEARS later

  • Grace Migliaccio, 61, and John Hiron, 60, met at a party in the U.S. in 1984, just a few days before he was scheduled to return home to his native Australia 
  • He extended his stay, but he was forced to return home after his visa ran out
  • Grace made plans to visit John in Australia, but she never got on her flight 
  • They officially broke up a few days later, but John continued to sporadically call Grace even after they went on to marry and have children with other people
  • When he called her in January 2007, they were surprised to learn that they were both going through divorces  
  • After months of catching up via video chat, he visited her in March 2008, and they saw each other in person for the first time in over two decades 
  • The couple realized they never wanted to be apart again, and they eloped after John moved to the U.S. to be with her  

A couple who married other people after their whirlwind romance was torn apart by long distance finally got their happy ending following an unexpected reunion two decades later. 

Grace Migliaccio, 61, and John Hiron, 60, from Pennsylvania, were both going through divorces when they reconnected in 2007 — 23 years after they met. Unwilling to let each other go for a second time, they went to great lengths to make their relationship work. 

John, who was based in his native Australia, moved to the U.S. to be with his lost love the following year, and they eloped months later without any regrets. They shared their incredible love story in a recent interview with CNN Travel

‘We were much more mature and wiser and understood that this kind of love doesn’t happen twice in a lifetime,’ Grace told DailyMail.com of finding each other again. 

Grace Migliaccio, 61, and John Hiron, 60, reunited and fell back in love 23 years after their whirlwind romance came to an end due to long distance

Grace Migliaccio, 61, and John Hiron, 60, reunited and fell back in love 23 years after their whirlwind romance came to an end due to long distance 

They met at a party in the U.S. in 1984 (pictured that year), just a few days before he was scheduled to return home to his native Australia

They met at a party in the U.S. in 1984 (pictured that year), just a few days before he was scheduled to return home to his native Australia

The couple first fell in love after meeting at a party in 1984. Grace was in her early 20s and had recently graduated from college. John was just a few days away from returning to Australia following his trip abroad. 

He extended his stay to be with his her for as long as he could, but he was forced to return home after his visa ran out. 

They initially navigated their long-distance relationship by writing each other letters — their only option in the 1980s. But it took weeks for their correspondence to arrive overseas, and they struggled to retain their emotional connection.

Grace used all of her savings to buy herself a flight from her home in Washington, D.C. to Australia to visit John, but she started to fear that she was making a mistake and shouldn’t go.

After calling him and waiting for him to call her back, she asked if she should still come. She was looking for reassurance, but he nonchalantly replied, ‘If you want to.’ 

John extended his stay to be with his new love for as long as he could, but he was forced to return home after his visa ran out

John extended his stay to be with his new love for as long as he could, but he was forced to return home after his visa ran out

Grace made plans to visit John in Australia, but she started to fear she was making a mistake and never got on her flight

Grace made plans to visit John in Australia, but she started to fear she was making a mistake and never got on her flight

When the officially broke up days later, Grace acknowledged that they would date other people, but she insisted they 'shouldn't marry anyone else'

When the officially broke up days later, Grace acknowledged that they would date other people, but she insisted they ‘shouldn’t marry anyone else’

Grace never got on the plane. 

John’s friends insisted he would meet someone else after she failed to show up, but he knew he had lost something special. Their relationship came to an end when he called her a few days later. 

Grace acknowledged that they would date other people, but she insisted they ‘shouldn’t marry anyone else.’

‘We’re never going to love someone the way we love each other,’ she explained in her interview with CNN Travel. 

Grace said she was ‘devastated,’ but she tried to move on with her life. She used the money she was going to go to Australia with to buy a car, ensuring she couldn’t change her mind. 

'We're never going to love someone the way we love each other,' she told John

‘We’re never going to love someone the way we love each other,’ she told John 

Despite Grace insistence, they both ended up marrying and having children with other people

Despite Grace insistence, they both ended up marrying and having children with other people

When John called her in January 2007, they were surprised to learn that they were both going through divorces

When John called her in January 2007, they were surprised to learn that they were both going through divorces

Months went by, and then years, but they never forgot each other.  

‘I would call periodically,’ John told the outlet. ‘One year I called, and she got married. And then I called again and her parents had died.’

He continued to call sporadically, even when he no longer had her number. He once went as far as calling an international directory in the U.S. to track her down. 

John also ended up getting married, and they both had children with their respective spouses, but Grace still kept all of his letters. 

In January 2007, he randomly called her amid his separation from his wife. To his surprise, Grace had also recently split from her husband. John asked if she would be willing to video chat sometime. 

After months of catching up via video chat, he visited her in March 2008, and they saw each other in person for the first time in over two decades

After months of catching up via video chat, he visited her in March 2008, and they saw each other in person for the first time in over two decades

The couple realized they never wanted to be apart again, and John moved to the U.S. to be with her once and for all

The couple realized they never wanted to be apart again, and John moved to the U.S. to be with her once and for all 

'We were much more mature and wiser and understood that this kind of love doesn't happen twice in a lifetime,' Grace told DailyMail.com of finding each other again

‘We were much more mature and wiser and understood that this kind of love doesn’t happen twice in a lifetime,’ Grace told DailyMail.com of finding each other again 

Grace went out and bought an external webcam, and after setting it up, they were able to see each other for the first time in 22 years. 

After bypassing the initial awkwardness, their calls and video chats became regular occurrences. Eventually, John offered to fly to the U.S. to reunite in person. 

In March 2008, months after they first reconnected, they had an emotional reunion at Newark Airport. Unsure what the future had in store for them, Grace visited John in Australia several months later.

‘There was no scenario where we imagined we could possibly end up together living 12,500 miles apart — and after 23 years,’ Grace told DailyMail.com. 

‘Even once we reconnected we still thought at first that we would just meet up and vacation/holiday together from time to time. After the second visit, it became clear that we couldn’t be happy without being together as a couple.’

However, they both had children and responsibilities in their home countries. A move for either of them seemed impossible at the time. 

Grace and John eloped eight days after his divorce was finalized. They celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in Hawaii (pictured)

Grace and John eloped eight days after his divorce was finalized. They celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in Hawaii (pictured)

Grace explained that they originally eloped because they were under pressure regarding John's immigration status

Grace explained that they originally eloped because they were under pressure regarding John’s immigration status

'Formalizing of our relationship through marriage was almost the lesser commitment to John having left his life of 45 years so we could be together,' she recalled

‘Formalizing of our relationship through marriage was almost the lesser commitment to John having left his life of 45 years so we could be together,’ she recalled 

Grace’s two children were 11 and 9, while John’s three kids were 17, 14, and 11. She briefly considered moving to Australia, but she wouldn’t be able to continue her career there. 

It was John who took the leap and moved across the world, leaving his children and family so they could finally be together. They eloped eight days after his divorce was finalized. 

‘We did it along the river in the small town where we live. The mayor officiated and even though it was just us and two friends, it was as romantic as if we were married in Westminster Abbey,’ she recalled.

Grace explained that they married quickly because they were under pressure regarding John’s immigration status. Their children weren’t with them over concerns that it might be too soon for them after their recent divorces. 

‘It was surreal, realizing a dream, and yet so natural,’ she said of their wedding day. ‘In a way, the formalizing of our relationship through marriage was almost the lesser commitment to John having left his life of 45 years so we could be together.’ 

After John left his children and family in Australia, he had to rebuild his life in the U.S. - including restarting his career during a recession

After John left his children and family in Australia, he had to rebuild his life in the U.S. – including restarting his career during a recession

Despite the difficult adjustments, their decision to be together and have a cross-continental blended family was ultimately the right one

Despite the difficult adjustments, their decision to be together and have a cross-continental blended family was ultimately the right one

'Trust that you will end up where you are meant to be despite your mistakes, poor judgment, or the immaturity of youth,' they told DailyMail.com

‘Trust that you will end up where you are meant to be despite your mistakes, poor judgment, or the immaturity of youth,’ they told DailyMail.com

Not only did he struggle with the pain of having to leave his family, but he also had to make new friends and restart his career in another country during a recession.

‘While many of our friends say our story is a “fairy tale,” the difficulties we faced in the first few years were quite trying and might make a book of its own,’ Grace noted. 

Despite the difficult adjustments, their decision to be together and have a cross-continental blended family was ultimately the right one. They spend time in both countries and bring all of their children on vacation with them. 

John’s kids currently live in Perth, Australia, but two of them had the opportunity to work and attend school in the U.S. thanks to his move.   

Ten years after they tied the knot, Grace and John renewed their vows in Hawaii, marking the occasion with the song ‘Amazing Day’ by Coldplay. 

When asked what advice they would give to someone who has lost a great love, they agreed that it is ‘worth taking a risk’ to find out if the other person feels the same way. 

‘Trust that you will end up where you are meant to be despite your mistakes, poor judgment, or the immaturity of youth,’ they said. ‘Know that it’s never too late to find where you’re supposed to be and who you’re supposed to be there with.’

Source

Related posts