High School Sweethearts for Life

A smile tugged at his lips as he quickly walked – though it was more of a light jog – to the mailbox across the street. There wasn’t any wind but Kirk Rundle could feel the air rush past him and through his hair. He fumbled with the key before pushing it into the lock, and taking a deep breath. Swiftly, he opened the door and peered inside.


There, was the letter from the girl he’d met in high school, Kathleen, who would later become his wife.


He remembered seeing how much his teacher picked on her back then. “She was so shy that she made an easy target,” Rundle said. Eventually the teacher had “crossed the line,” and Rundle found himself courageously standing up for her. The rest of the students pivoted around in their chairs, and the teacher was forced to stay silent.


Later they met again at a party, and that was when the two began to know each other.  They talked and laughed, and talked some more, and eventually started dating.


The letters came in when Rundle had to move to Arizona from New Jersey, and agreed to keep in touch.


“We stayed friends and dated other people. Long distance relationships are hard,” Rundle said. He didn’t want to hold her back and felt that the struggle of being with someone who was across the country was unnecessary, if there could be a chance that there was someone else right for them.

Adrian Alcaraz

Despite so, both their hearts were only completed with each other’s.


“We stayed in touch and sent letters back and forth throughout the rest of high school as well as college, before she moved over to Arizona to finish her degree,” Rundle said.


“She was going to a two year college but needed a four year degree, so she was going to have to switch schools anyways.” He explained. “She taught for 35 years, special needs.”


So the two continued to date until they found that they were compatible enough to get married.


“Of course, we fought, but we’d always make sure to talk it out. We never would sleep on an argument, and Kathleen is really good about things like that.” Rundle said. Because they were able to talk through any arguments, the two stayed happily married for 37 years.


Kathleen slowly opened up around him and learned to be more assertive around him, as she was originally shy and timid. They’ve grown comfortable with each other throughout the years and learned the in’s and out’s of both their sides.


Now they’re grandparents who’ve gotten to tell their story to their children and their children’s children, on.


“We’re still in love, but it’s a different type of love. You’ve made a commitment and your vows stay for life.” Rundle said, explaining the reason why both him and Kathleen remain together. It’s not the fluttery feeling of fresh teenage love, but a warmer one of comfort and understanding.


“I love her, and I’m very glad I stood up for her that day in high school.”