When two people love each other, I mean really, really love each other nothing can keep them apart. Time, distance, and other relationships will fail to stand in their way.
Some people are just meant to be.
Natalie Crowe, now Natalie Crowe Tatman, and Austin Tatman were meant to be together despite being separated for 12 years and 1,000 miles. Their story proves that fairytales and those romances we dream about sometimes do come true.
“We have this amazing story, but the story isn’t what kept us together for seven years since we’ve reconnected,” Natalie told PEOPLE.
What kept them together was true love.
The Tatmans’ relationship began when they were in preschool. The two were living Ocala, Florida and they ended up in the same preschool by chance. They quickly became inseparable.
“We just automatically became best friends and our parents realized it,” Natalie said. “It’s strange when you’re that age — you don’t usually hang out with the opposite sex. But from when we were 2 until we were 5, we were constantly together.”
The two of them had lots in common, such as the fact that they were both due on Valentine’s Day.
However, Austin arrived two weeks earlier and Natalie came two weeks later.
“I have very faint memories, but our parents have told us many stories. Like on Halloween in 1999, Austin held my hand in the car on the way to trick-or-treating. Those are little things that our parents tell us, where they knew, ‘This is insane that they’re interacting like this.’ Every picture that we have — even in a group — we were together and then everyone else was on the side,” Natalie recalls. “I just basically have memories of always being with him, regardless of whether I remember the detail of the memory or not, I knew we were always together.”
One thing Natalie does remember with crystal clear accuracy is the last day she saw Austin. They were 5-years-old and Natalie’s parents got divorced.
That meant she had to move to Connecticut with her brother, sister, and mother.
“I remember the very last day that I saw him, not knowing that I wouldn’t see him for over a decade,” Natalie said. “My last memory of him is [when] we made Rice Krispy treats in his parents’ kitchen… and then we were separated.”
They didn’t keep in touch after their move and Natalie and Austin spent the next 12 years apart from one another. But she never stopped thinking about him.
She even asked about him when she was about 8 or 10-years-old.
Her mom told her that if she remembered him, then he would remember her. But Natalie was young and had no way of getting in contact with him then.
But in 2012 Natalie ended up finding her mom’s old address book. She found Austin’s name listed in the “T” section.
“I knew his last name started with a T, but I don’t know why — I still have no idea to this day why — I went to his name out of all the names that were in there. This thing was full,” she said.
She immediately remembered him as soon as she saw his name. She then had this “overwhelming feeling” that she needed to go find him on Facebook before she missed out on this opportunity.
It didn’t take long for her to find him on Facebook since she instantly recognized his face, despite him having grown up. She messaged him and they started chatting and reminiscing about the time they spent together as young children.
They learned that Austin lived only 10 minutes away from Natalie’s dad who she would be visiting in just a few weeks.
They agreed to meet up and have been inseparable ever since. She said their friendship rekindled the minute the reconnected. They realized that they were in love by their second date.
“We rekindled the friendship on the first day of reuniting and then being alone, it was like, ‘Okay, whatever time that may be, I’m gonna marry you,’” she explains.
They spent one year having a long distance relationship while they finished their senior years of high school in Florida and Connecticut.
Then they attended different universities in Florida. They were engaged about a year after graduating from college and wed in May.
The wedding was a nod to the journey their love took with polaroids from their childhood hung everywhere, address books used as the guest book, and a red Jeep used to recreate a photo from their childhood.
Natalie said she was glad that their relationship endured some separation because they came together exactly as they should have. Things might have been different if it didn’t work out the way it did. Now she knows that everything happens for a reason.
Learn more about their fateful union in the video below.
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Source: CBS News