A 71-year-old American woman met a 17-year-old guy at her son's funeral and married himBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/a-71-year-old-american-woman-met-a-17-year-old-guy-at-her-sons-funeral-and-married-him.html
When heartbroken retiree Almeda Errell from Sevirville, Tennessee, went to say goodbye to her son for the last time, the last thing she expected was to meet her love. After a dizzying three-week romance, she and Gary Hardwick, who was 17 years old at the time of their acquaintance (now 18) and who had previously dated a 77-year-old woman, got married in a wedding ceremony that cost only $ 200 and six days of preparation. Now the unusual couple lives in Almeda's house together with one of her grandchildren, who is three years older than her new husband.
Source: Daily Mail
"I wasn't looking for a young man, Gary just showed up," says Almeda, who works as an assistant at a supermarket. "I immediately realized that he was the one." Now the woman is much happier than when, after the death of her husband, she also experienced the death of her eldest son Robert, who died of a heart attack at the age of 45.
"I was married to my first husband Donald for 43 years, and when he died in 2013 from complications caused by diabetes, after spending seven months in the hospital, I found myself all alone," says Almeda. — I went to work at Walmart in tears, and colleagues asked what was wrong with me. I was subconsciously looking for a soul mate." The woman also had to survive the death of her son Robert. "He constantly had health problems after an accident in his youth. But when his wife Lisa called and said he was dead, it was a blow to me. It was very hard for me," Almeda recalls.
Gary, whose infatuation with older women began with falling in love with a teacher at the age of eight, says he was also going through hard times, feeling unhappy in a relationship with his 77-year-old former mistress. "We were constantly fighting. I got depressed and was looking for a way out," the guy says. It was then that Lisa, his aunt, invited him to her husband Robert's funeral.
Almeda says: "I noticed this young man with a charming smile during the memorial service and thought: "Wow, there he is." He was standing at the other end of the church, but I kept looking at him. It was a ray of light through the darkness of sorrow. Then, when I was leaving the door at the end, he came up and offered his condolences. We didn't have much time, but it was enough."
Over the next few months, she thought about Gary constantly. But the woman did not understand that the feelings were mutual. But as soon as Gary broke up with his mistress, he went to Aunt Lisa to confess his feelings for Almeda to her. "It was sudden for me, too. She had the most beautiful, shining blue eyes. When I told Lisa that I liked Almeda, she replied that she liked me too and that she would introduce us closer," recalls Gary.
Soon after, Lisa invited them to a family dinner at a nearby pizzeria for the birthday of her nine-year-old daughter Evelyn. Gary and Almeda were sitting next to each other, and the love spark flared up again between them. "He was the same as I remembered him. That smile, that kind look. We were both too nervous to eat, and at some point he fell off his chair," the woman recalls. "We talked about everything for several hours and discovered that we have a lot in common, for example, a love of country music and Italian cuisine," says Gary, who recently wrote a book about his life called This Is Who I Am.
But Almeda had to ask one more question. She remembers: "I just gave out: "Look, I'm 71 and you're 17. Am I too old for you?" He shook my hand, smiled and replied: "Age is just a number."" That night, when they returned home to Lisa, Gary surprised her with a bouquet of red roses and a gift in the form of a birthday bracelet, which had been a few days earlier. Then they kissed for the first time, sitting on a bench under the moon. "I felt like a teenager again," Almeda smiles.
Since then, they have started dating every day and have received the approval of most friends and family, including Gary's mother, Tammy, and his grandmother Carolyn, who is the same age as Almeda.
But not everyone liked it. "Some relatives said that Gary was too young for me and that I must have lost my mind. I told them that I'm not crazy and that we love each other," says Almeda. Two weeks after the first date, the woman did not doubt for a second when Gary called her and made a marriage proposal. Six days later, when Gary arranged everything quickly and cheaply, Almeda put on a wedding dress borrowed from her cousin, and they got married in the gardens opposite Lisa's house, where they kissed for the first time.
On their wedding night, they slept together for the first time. "It was wonderful, better than my wildest fantasies. She really is the woman of my dreams, and the physical aspect of our relationship is the best," Gary admitted. According to Almeda, that time was the best for her. "I have never felt such unity before," she says.
After they got married in October 2015, Gary got tattoos with their names on his chest. Now the couple lives in a five-bedroom house that belongs to Almeda, along with her daughter Dianna and grandchildren Aaron and Indiana. Gary started working at another Walmart store, but wants to transfer to the one where Almeda works in order to spend more time together. He says: "Almeda is so young at heart that age does not bother us, we never think about it. I just know that God answered my prayers the day I met her." Almeda adds: "I realized that if you really love someone, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about it."