A 72-year-old grandmother has found love with a 19-year-old she met at her son’s funeral.
Almeda and Gary Hardwick got married in 2016, just two weeks after meeting for the first time.
Almeda was married for 43 years before her first husband died. However, she’s now confessed her new partner Gary is her ‘soulmate’, and describes their relationship as ‘a whirlwind’.
The couple met at the funeral of Almeda’s son, Robert, who died at the age of 45 after suffering a seizure.
Speaking on a video uploaded to YouTube, Almeda said:
I was married for 43 years and there wasn’t a lot of kissy, huggy stuff going on…no romance.
[My current relationship] is a whirlwind. We are always complimenting and kissing. We’re enjoying our relationship. When you meet that perfect one, that’s when you know you don’t want to lose that feeling.
The compliments, the hugs the kisses… that’s very romantic.
The couple revealed the first time they had sex was on their wedding night, and described each other as ‘wonderful lovers’.
Gary said, as per the New York Post:
It was wonderful, beyond my wildest dreams. She really is my dream woman and the physical side of our relationship couldn’t be better.
During her YouTube show, Girl’s Talk, Almeda spoke about her relationship with Gary, while also offering advice to others who had questions:
In our relationship, we do little things each day to help each other out. Whether he cooks me supper, or mops for me, we always thank each other.
It’s the little things like that, cooking a meal, washing dishes. Always compliment him and show love. Show it every day, we aren’t promised tomorrow.
Before meeting Almeda, Gary was in a relationship with a 77-year-old woman, but said he was unhappy, felt trapped, and ‘in turmoil’ during that time.
We were always fighting. I fell into depression and was looking for a way out.
Gary’s aunt, Lisa, then invited him to go to her husband Robert’s cremation service, which is where he met Almeda.
I’d noticed this young man with a lovely smile during the service and thought, ‘Wow, this is the one.’
He was on the other side of the church, but I kept looking over at him. It was like a bright light through the grief.
Then, as I was walking to the door at the end, he came over and passed on his condolences. We didn’t have much time, but it was enough.
It was an instant thing for me too. She had the most gorgeous, sparkling blue eyes.
They met again, at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, with Almeda revealing:
I just came out with it and said to him, ‘Look, I’m 71 and you’re 17. Am I too old for you?’ He squeezed my hand, grinned and replied: ‘Age is just a number.’
Gary’s mother, 48-year-old Tammy, and his 71-year-old grandmother Carolyn, have both given their blessing to the couple. Since their wedding in October 2016, Gary has even had Almeda’s name tattooed across his chest.
Almeda is so young at heart that age never bothers us, we never really think about it. I just know that God answered my prayers that day she walked into my life.
The one thing I’ve learned is that when you truly love somebody, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.