Love, Lost And Found: 'Things Just Fell Into Place' Old high school sweethearts just happened to find each other on social media at the right time. Like a Cinderella story with a modern twist, the two reunite decades later.
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Love, Lost And Found: 'Things Just Fell Into Place'

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Love, Lost And Found: 'Things Just Fell Into Place'

Love, Lost And Found: 'Things Just Fell Into Place'

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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And now, on this February 14, we bring you a special Valentine's Day edition of For The Record.


JULIA ROBERTS: (As Anna Scott) Don't forget, I'm also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.


SANAA LATHAN: (As Monica Wright) I've loved you since I was 11 and the [expletive] won't go away.

OMAR EPPS: (As Quincy McCall) We haven't talked since college. You wait two weeks before my wedding to tell me something like that.


MATTHEW MACFADYEN: (As Mr. Darcy) You have bewitched me, body and soul. And I love - I love - I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.

MARTIN: That was sound from a lot of love stories you have heard before. For the record today, we bring you one you probably haven't heard.

TERRY FARLEY: He was my first love. The first boy I ever kissed, the first boy I ever held hands with. And he was hard to forget.

MARTIN: This is Terry Farley remembering her first boyfriend, a guy named Steve Downey.

FARLEY: The year was 1971. I was 14 and Steve was 16.

MARTIN: They met at a Catholic youth event in Washington, D.C.

STEVE DOWNEY: And I remember seeing this very cute young woman. In those days, she had very curly blonde hair.

FARLEY: I just happened to be sitting next to Steve in a group of kids. And we got to talking, and we just hit it off.

MARTIN: Steve got her phone number and a couple of weeks later, got the gumption to call her up and ask her out.

DOWNEY: The great thing about going to an all-boy Catholic high school is that there were monthly dances that you could pretty much set your watch by. And these were events of high anticipation and high anxiety because - but I got an opportunity to actually have a date.


FARLEY: I had never been on a date before, so he was, per my father, required to come to the door and to meet my father and my family. And my family just fell in love with him.


MARTIN: She did, too. They dated all through high school. A couple years later, Steve graduated and went off to college. They stayed in touch, wrote letters. Then Terry went off to school. They each thought of each other as good friends, but eventually lost touch.


MARTIN: They fell in love with other people, eventually got married. They built lives. Time passed. And then in 2004, Steve's wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with cancer.

DOWNEY: She went into treatment, went into remission. And she was in remission for about a year or so, and the cancer came back. And she passed away in August of 2009, the day before my birthday.

MARTIN: After many months, Steve's friends started urging him to try dating again. He had no interest.

DOWNEY: I wasn't looking for another relationship. I was - gosh, I guess I was in my mid-50s at that time, and I just assumed that I was just moving into a different phase, one where I would be by myself. I was alone, but I was OK with that.


MARTIN: Around the same time, Terry's marriage was ending. She went through a rough divorce and was learning how to live on her own again, too. Then one day in the fall of 2012, she happened upon Steve's profile on LinkedIn. She click on it, smiled when she saw his photo, but decided not to write him.

FARLEY: I was not going to be the old girlfriend that popped out of nowhere and said hey, remember me?

MARTIN: However, the algorithm had other ideas because 500 miles away, Steve Downey was looking at his LinkedIn profile.

DOWNEY: And just completely by accident, I went to the section of LinkedIn where you see a list of people who have looked at your profile. And I see this name - Teresa Farley has looked at your profile. And I thought well, that is a name I have not heard in quite a long time.

MARTIN: He wrote her a message. Nothing heavy, just hey, Terry, it's Steve, hope you're well, that kind of thing. Then he waited. Nothing. Radio silence. He thought OK, fine, she doesn't want to reconnect.

DOWNEY: And a few weeks later, she writes back with her long life story. And I open up the email and I read it, and I - in the midst of all of her explanation, she reveals that she has been divorced. And I remember reading that line and calling up my best friend saying guess what? She's single. (Laughter).


MARTIN: The emails got longer and more frequent. And then there were phone calls, but they still hadn't met in person. Finally, Terry invited Steve to spend a weekend with her. His friends and family were a little worried.

DOWNEY: I had a friend who was convinced that I was going to meet my demise at the hands of a mass murderer and insisted that the moment I got there that I was to call her, my friend, to say that I was all right.

MARTIN: (Laughter).

DOWNEY: That I was not being held hostage.

MARTIN: He was not held hostage, but he was smitten all over again.

DOWNEY: When I first saw her, I saw in that person the young person that I had known.

FARLEY: When I looked at him, I did not see the gray hair. I saw my teenage crush.

MARTIN: Steve Downey and Terry Farley got married March 21, 2015, 44 years after they first met as teenagers.

DOWNEY: The most remarkable part of all this is the fact that I had a wonderful, caring, nurturing marriage and it, you know, made me the person I am today. And now I get to do it again.


FARLEY: Things just fell into place. It was like almost a puzzle piece. He, still today, makes me feel like a teenager. And so I am just - I feel like I'm the luckiest woman in the world.


MARTIN: For the record today, a love story from Terry Farley and Steve Downey.

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