When grieving pensioner Almeda Errell went to pay her last respects at her son’s funeral, the last thing she expected to find was love.
Following a whirlwind three-week romance, she and Gary Hardwick – now 18, and who had previously dated a woman of 77 – tied the knot in a ceremony which he arranged for just £137 in six days.
Later, on their wedding night, they had sex for the first time.
“It was wonderful, beyond my wildest dreams,” revealed Gary. “She really is my dream woman and the physical side of our relationship couldn’t be better.”
“It was the best ever,” agreed Almeda. “I’d never had a connection like it before.”
And now the unlikely pair are sharing Almeda’s house with one of her grandsons who is three years OLDER than her new husband.
“I wasn’t looking for a young man, but Gary just came along,” said Almeda, a supermarket assistant. “I just knew straight away that he was the one.”
Her happiness at their meeting was in stark contrast to the lonely despair the mother-of-four had endured after being widowed and then losing her eldest son Robert,45, after a seizure.
“I’d been married to my first husband Donald for 43 years, and so when he died in 2013 after seven months in hospital from complications with diabetes, I found myself on my own,’ said Almeda.
“I’d turn up for work in tears and my colleagues would ask me what was wrong. Deep down, I was searching for a soulmate.
Almeda was also having to cope with Robert’s failing health.
“He’d always had problems following a road accident when he was younger,” she said.
“But when his wife Lisa called to say he’d died, I was devastated. It was a hard time for me.”
Gary, whose attraction to older women started with a crush on a teacher at the age of eight, said he had also been in turmoil, feeling trapped in an unhappy relationship with his 77-year-old lover.
“We were always fighting,’ said Gary. “I fell into depression and was looking for a way out.”
That’s when Lisa, his aunt, invited him to join other mourners for her husband Robert’s cremation.
Almeda said: “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.”
For the next few months, she couldn’t stop thinking about Gary.But what she didn’t realise was that the feeling was mutual – and as soon as he broke up with his girlfriend, he raced round to Lisa’s to confess his love for Almeda.
“It was an instant thing for me too,” said Gary. “She had the most gorgeous, sparkling blue eyes. When I told Lisa that I liked Almeda, she said that she liked me too and that she should get us together.”
Soon after, Lisa asked them both along to a family meal at the nearby Chuck E Cheese’s pizza restaurant for her daughter Evelyn’s ninth birthday. Sitting next to each other, it didn’t take long for the old spark to reignite.
“He was just as I remembered,” said Almeda. “That smile, those good looks. We were both too nervous to eat, and at one point he fell over his chair.”
आज तक आपने कई अनोखे कपल्स देखे होंगे और उनसे मिले होंगे। लेकिन आज हम जिस कपल से आपको मिलवाने जा रहे हैं, इसके बारे में जानकर आपके मन में जरूर ये सवाल उठेंगे कि क्या सच में ऐसे जोड़े भी होते हैं। जी हां लंदन में एक 17 साल के लड़के ने 71 साल की लेडीज से शादी की है और दोनों अपने लाइफ से बेहद ही खुश हैं।
इनको नहीं है दुनिया की परवाह…
17 साल के गैरी और 71 साल की अलमेडा हार्डविक के बीच काफी दिनों तक रोमांस चला, जिसके बाद दोनों ने शादी कर ली। एक टीवी शो के दौरान अलमेडा ने कहा कि हम दोनों के बीच उम्र का कोई बंधन नहीं है। किसी भी रिश्ते में सबसे ज्यादा जरूरी चीज जो मायने रखता है, वो है आपके पार्टनर का आपके प्रति प्रेम। आपका हमसफर आपके प्रति कमिटेड है तो फिर दुनिया की कोई परवाह नहीं होती है। हम दोनों के बीज अच्छी बांडिंग है और हमारे प्यार के बीच कोई नहीं आ सकता। गैरी भी अलमेडा की इस सोच से सहमत हैं।
गजब की है इनकी लव बांडिंग
इन दोनों के बीज कितनी अच्छी बांडिंग है, इसका अंदाजा आप इसी से लगा सकते हैं कि, शादी से पहले दोनों न तो किसी सोशल मीडिया पर मिले और न ही कभी चैट की। अलमेडा और गैरी की मुलाकात एक चर्च में हुई और दोनों के बीच प्यार हो गया। बता दें कि अलमेडा एक विधवा है, साल 2013 में बीमारी के कारण उसके पहले पति डोनाल्ड की मौत हो गई थी।