Gary and Almeda Hardwick’s story is not your typical romantic story. You have probably never heard of something like this before, especially when it comes to ‘where or how did you meet.’
Even though Almeda is now 72 and Gary is only 19, the two said they are ‘soulmates’ and have known that they’re meant for each other the moment they met at her son’s funeral.
Before they started their relationship, Almeda had been married for four decades. Although the marriage produced four wonderful children, she said that she did not feel loved at all.
She explained: “I was married for 43 years and there wasn’t a lot of kissy, huggy stuff going on … no romance.”
Almeda’s husband passed away in 2013, and she struggled on her own feet.
“I’d turn up for work at Walmart in tears and my colleagues would ask me what was wrong,” she expressed. “Deep down, I was searching for a soulmate.”
Gary was also unhappy before he met the woman of his dreams. He had been dating a 77-year-old woman but they weren’t happy together.
“We were always fighting,” he shared. “I fell into depression and was looking for a way out.”
Everything changed when Gary’s aunt Lisa invited him to visit the funeral of her husband Robert.
Robert, who died at the age of 45, happened to be Almeda’s son.
At the funeral, the 72-year-old and the teen locked eyes. “I’d noticed this young man with a lovely smile during the service and thought, ‘Wow, this is the one,’” Almeda said. “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.”
Gary also said: “It was an instant thing for me too. She had the most gorgeous, sparkling blue eyes.”
After leaving the ceremony, Gary met up with Almeda. “We didn’t have much time, but it was enough,” she recalled.
The two couldn’t stop thinking about one another. Then, Lisa invited them both to a family meal. They didn’t want to waste any more time.
“I just came out with it and said to him, ‘Look, I’m 71 and you’re 17. Am I too old for you?’” Almeda said. “He just squeezed my hand, grinned and replied: ‘Age is just a number.’”
That night, they shared a kiss. They started to see each other every night after that, and of course, with the blessings of their families.
Only two weeks after their first date, he asked Almada to marry him. They tied the knot six days later in a ceremony Gary prepared for $200.
They slept together for the first time during their wedding night, and Gary said it was way better than he had imagined.
“It was wonderful, beyond my wildest dreams,” he said. “She really is my dream woman and the physical side of our relationship couldn’t be better.”
Almada added: “It’s been 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 two moved into a house with one of her grandchildren, who is three years older than Gary. He found it hard to accept their relationship at first. “In my head, I see him as a friend more than a grandfather,” he admitted. “But you know, our grandmother is happy.”
Almada’s grandchild, Indiana, also said: “My mom…is very outspoken because you know there’s an age difference between him and my mom too so it’s a little weird to see your mother walking around with someone the same age as your own kids.”
The two have over 70,000 subscribers on YouTube. They always stress that happiness is what it’s all about.
“The one thing I’ve learned is that when you truly love somebody, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks,” Almeda said.