An 18-year-old boy who shocked the world by marrying a 71-year-old woman has said he made the best decision of his life.
Gary and Almeda Hardwick
The marriage of an 18-year-old man to his 71-year-old sweetheart is waxing ever stronger in spite of people’s predictions. Gary and Almeda Hardwick are enjoying the best times of their lives as they enjoy their first year of marriage together.
USA Today reveals that the fairy-tale relationship began in June 2015 when they met at the funeral of Almeda’s son Robert.
“It was like an instant connection. (There was) so much chemistry there,” Gary told USA Today. “We both loved music.” Later that year in September, they reconnected thanks to Gary’s aunt, who had been married to Robert.
The Hardwicks were united in matrimony a month later inside Gary’s aunt’s condo when Gary was only 17 and after dating for three weeks. Despite the age of consent being 18 in Tennessee, his mother nonetheless gave her approval.
“I had prayed about my soul mate for like two years, so, you know, I was lonely,” said the grandmother of eight. “I had no one, so God sent him to me.”
Almeda had been married to her previous husband for 43 years until he passed away in 2013.
”I was lonely,” said Almeda. “I had no one, so God sent him to me.”
”When I looked into her eyes I knew it,” Gary continued. “Her eyes were a dead giveaway.” “His were too … I knew,” she said. After dating three weeks, they got married on Oct. 26, 2015, inside Harrell’s condo. As at the time of marriage, Gary who had always been attracted to older women was 17, not yet up to the age of consent, but his mum permitted the marriage.
The pair will celebrate their one year anniversary by October 26,2 015. Almeda had been married to her previous husband for 43 years until he passed away in 2013 while Gary was dating a 77 year old woman before he met Almelda.
“I just knew she was the one, and she knew I was the one, and we just knew we were right for each other, so it really didn’t matter,” he said.
“Everybody was happy for us really,” said Gary. “Like the day after the wedding, I posted the wedding pictures on Facebook, and obviously (they were) shocked that we got married because nobody even knew we were dating or anything until I posted the wedding photos. They were like, ‘Whoa.’ But, I mean, they were happy for us. They didn’t say anything about the age difference. Our family and friends support us.”
“I’ve never dated anyone my age. Even in school, I was never interested. … I don’t know why. It’s just my attraction, my preference I guess,” he said.
Almelda has three children and eight grandchildren. Two of her grandchildren, a 22-year-old and a 17-year-old, live with her and Gary.