HomeTravel43 Years After Divorce, Ex Stops Her With Sign

43 Years After Divorce, Ex Stops Her With Sign

By Ashleigh / Dec 28, 2022

A Horrible Day

Renata went to work at the neighborhood Walmart as usual, wearing a smile. She became aware that someone was there to see her at that point. Who was this person? She had not seen her ex-husband in a very long time when he called. When she saw what was written on the placard he was holding, she was utterly shocked.


Her smile had now entirely vanished as she prepared to be whisked away in a split second to 1959.

Doing Her Best

German native Renate Stumpf was raised in a strict household. She needed to find a job to support her parents because, at the age of only 18, they lacked the funds to send her to college.

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In the late 1950s, Renate got work at an army post in Germany. Little did she know, however, that she wouldn’t be living there for very long.

The Love Of Her Life

She thought she had found true love when she met him at the army post. Renate was responsible for cooking and serving soldiers’ meals in the army base kitchen.


However, one day a man became enthralled with Renate’s food. Their story was just getting started.


On that particular day, Renate was working in the kitchen when a young soldier came by. Louis Demetriades, a young man sent to the same base as Renate, was this person. They were both 18 years old, so they have a lot in common, which led to intense passion between them.


But Louis didn’t fall in love with Renate until he asked her to prepare him a burger.


“The first time I ever saw him, he asked me if I could fix him a hamburger. He liked who he saw, so he asked to go help me out in the kitchen.” Renate shared on ABC news.


These two were married right away. However, Louis afterwards received a job offer from the United States that he could not and would not turn down.

The Perfect Life

Later, Renate and Louis both emigrated to the US and started a family. Although their relationship continued to flourish, they would still face challenges in the future.


They did a good job of assimilating themselves into American culture, but Renate still struggled with the language.


Since Renate had never taken an English course, it was exceedingly difficult for her to speak in the language and comprehend her surroundings. The couple’s situation began to deteriorate at that point.


“We had little financial support, I didn’t know anything, ​and I could barely speak English,” Renate shared with ABC News. “We started arguing about every little thing.”

Getting Divorced

Following some time, Louis and Renate made the decision to end their marriage. While they were both aware that this choice was the best one for them, it was not a simple decision to make.


They carried on with their lives, but Louis could not so simply forget Renate. Louis settled in Memphis, Tennessee, after getting married.

Settling Some Business

Renate also got remarried and had a good time with her new spouse. Renate and Louis had children in common, yet they had no communication at all. Despite the fact that forty years had passed, Louis still needed to settle some business with his former flame.


Like any other day, Renate went to work that day. However, as she was conversing with a customer, she felt a presence behind her.


Slowly turning around, Renate noticed Louis standing there and immediately recognized him. A wave of emotions swept over her. She initially experienced surprise, followed by anger. She then experienced intense perplexity, which was soon followed by curiosity.

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After so much time, what possibly could Louis want from her? And how did he locate her?

Cunning Plan

You see, Louis had secretly contacted Renate’s daughter on Facebook. Her daughter had warned him that Renate may not react well to his plan, but still gave him all the information he needed.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

Renate had no idea all of this was happening. But once she turned around and saw him, she started shaking.

Ghost From The Past

At first, Renate had thought nothing of seeing her children approach her.

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Her kids would come to say “hi” from time to time while she was working, but when she turned and saw her ex-husband standing behind her, she knew in her heart that Louis and her own children had set her up.


Renate could not believe what she was seeing. She had not seen Louis in 43 years! And​ there he was, standing right in front of her. But what did he want from her after being apart for so long? And more importantly, did Renate even want to see him?

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

Then, she saw the sign he was holding in his hands, and it all made sense.

Perfectly Planned

Louis had wanted that day to be more than special; he​ had planned everything. He had talked to Renate’s employer and the people she worked with, and let them in on his plan.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

He even had one of Renate’s daughters capture everything on camera. But that was not all.

The Sign

Louis was holding a sign. But first, as their eyes locked, he said: “Hey good looking,” and put the sign up so she could read it. As soon as she did, Renate immediately started to cry.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

The sign read: “Happy Valentine’s Day!” but that wasn’t all. Renate continued to read, and then broke down.


“Will you marry me?” was scrawled at the bottom of Louis’ sign. Renate was at a loss for words, but then she went in for a hug. The pair embraced and it was clear to see that the love that there once was had never left these two.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

Still, Louis was looking for an answer to his question on the sign, but Renate’s answer was not exactly what he had expected.

Yes, But…

“No,” Renate jokingly responded, before adding, “Yes, but not today!” Renate gasped. Even though Louis was hoping for a “yes”, he was ok with her answer and they both chuckled.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

But still, she went on to explain why she had decided to decline Louis’ proposal on the spot… for now.


“43 years is a long time, and to say ‘yes’ right away, I’m gonna have to test him a little bit first!” she revealed. Even though Renate and Louis’ spouses had long since passed on, it was still not an easy decision — after all, the couple had failed to make things work the first time around.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

But perhaps the pair have some new insights into their relationship now that 43 years have passed.

It Paid Off

“I will marry him, though, because he’s a good man,” Renate admitted. Their marriage had been tricky, and full of ups and downs, so Renate was wise to take everything slow.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

Hopefully, after 43 years, the pair can work out their differences. But why did Louis plan everything as​ he did?

Louis’ Plan

He wanted her to share this day with her friends and loved ones. Renate is an incredibly social woman and he knew that this would not only be a shock to her but also, all of her friends would be there too.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

He wanted to declare his love for Renate among all the people she cherished the most.

A Risk

“Why did I come to Walmart to propose to my wife again?” Louis said in an interview. “It’s because she has so many friends here, and I knew she would like to share that with them,” he explained.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

But how did he know his proposal would be well-received? It was a big risk to pop the question in such a public place!

On The News

The video of Louis’ surprise proposal to the woman he hadn’t seen in over 40 years became an internet sensation, with the original video garnering over 600,000 views. soon, local news channels snapped up the story, too.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

People just can’t get over such a surprising and heartwarming reunion, and all were enamored by the 75-year-old love story.


As the story went viral, people couldn’t help but comment on what they thought about this incredible story.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

Some commenters even knew Renate! “This makes you feel great,” one lady said. “[Renate’s] my favorite cashier too!”

Happy For Them

Another woman commented; “I’ve known Renate for many years and her family, [and] she is by far the sweetest lady around, I love how she is, and I’m happy for her. She is amazing.”

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

Renate is obviously well-loved by her colleagues and clients at Walmart, but what did people have to say about Louis’ surprise?

About Time

Some commenters were ecstatic for the reunited lovebirds: “It took him 43 years to figure out that he let a diamond go the first time around? Good for them!” and another: “Don’t wait too long, you are not spring chickens!”

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

But not all comments were positive, and some cautioned Renate to be careful about her decision.

Cautionary Advice

One woman wrote: “WOW!!!. It only took 43 yrs to wake up. Remember why you divorced the first time. CAUTION take your time when making your decision.” And another: “Remember, you divorced for a reason…..think this decision through.”

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

But Renate wasn’t about to let anyone sway her, she knew what she needed to do.


Even after 43 years of not knowing anything about each other, these two connected and made their love spark again. They had seen each other once before this surprise encounter, and they knew right there and then.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

“When we saw each other again last December, we knew right then we still loved each other for sure,” Renate told ABC News. “That love has never passed.”

Happy Couple

Renate and Louis became a couple again, and this time they knew they had to do things the right way. First, Renate wanted to take it slow. “There’s no rush at my age,” she told ABC News.

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

“God put us together again, and it couldn’t be any other way after all these years.”

Love Conquers All

She insisted that they are in no way rushing to be married, ​but they want to enjoy every minute as a happy couple together. It just goes to show you that if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be — even after more than 40 years have passed!

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

The spark of one’s first love is never so easily forgotten.


Louis’ determination and undying love for his first wife prompted him to plan carefully, and his actions were not without risk. He drove all the way from Tennessee to the Walmart where Renate was working to ensure that he gave her the Valentine’s surprise of a lifetime, and he wasn’t even sure if she would want to see him again after 43 years!

YouTube/ Amy Slanchik

What do you think of Louis’ gutsy proposal?

To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.


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