A 72-year-old grandmother has claimed to found love with a 19-year-old that she met at her son's funeral.
Almeda and Gary Hardwick wed back in 2016 - two weeks after they first met. The pair became acquainted at the funeral of Almeda's son, Robert, who died aged 45 after suffering a seizure.
Almeda was married for 43 years before her first husband passed away. She has maintained, however, that her new partner is her "soulmate", describing her relationship as a "whirlwind".
"I was married for 43 years and there wasn’t a lot of kissy, huggy stuff going on…no romance," Almeda stated her YouTube show, Girl's Talk. "[Our 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'."
Almeda also offered relationship advice to her viewers. "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," she continued.
"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."
Gary opened up about his unconventional relationship to 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."
Prior to meeting Almeda, Gary was with a 77-year-old woman, but they were far from happy. "We were always fighting. I fell into depression and was looking for a way out," he explained.
Luckily, Gary's aunt, Lisa, proceeded to invite him to Robert's cremation, where he met his now "soulmate".
"I’d noticed this young man with a lovely smile during the service and thought, 'Wow, this is the one,'" Almeda said of their meeting. "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," Gary corroborated.
Their first date was at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, where Almeda addressed her anxieties about their age gap. "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'," she revealed
"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," Gary added to the New York Post.