Man who was 18 when he married a 71-year-old pays tribute as she turns 80
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@garyandalmeda
A man who married a woman 53 years his senior has gushed about his wife on her 80th birthday.
Gary Hardwick, now 26, was just 18 years old when he wed Almeda - who was 71 at the time - with the pair walking down the aisle just weeks after meeting.
They reportedly met at Almeda's son's funeral and married in a $200 ceremony soon after.
And several years on from tying the knot, it appears as if their marriage is still as strong as ever as Gary recently wrote a heartfelt post about his 'babydoll' to celebrate her big milestone.
The happy couple have their own OnlyFans page where they share explicit content and charge $10.99 a month (or $26.38 for a three month bundle).
"Happy birthday to the most amazing wife in the world. Today is not only your day, but most importantly, today is about celebrating the birth of such a wonderful & true woman with such a heart of gold," Gary's post began.
"I'm the luckiest husband for everyday that I get to wake up beside you. You make me the happiest man each and every day and I want to always make you the happiest woman.
"You deserve the world and until my last breath I'll work hard to give you that. All of my happiest moments are moments I share with you. I hope you have the best birthday ever today and I hope you enjoy all of your surprises my love.
"You're truly the love of my lifetime and I love you with every beat of my heart. Here's to celebrating my queen. Happy Birthday Babydoll."
Gary made Almeda a salmon dinner to celebrate her birthday, and gifted her with a new karaoke machine, chocolates, wine and other treats.
Hundreds of their 18,000 Instagram followers also shared their well wishes to Almeda as she celebrated her milestone birthday.
"Happy birthday pretty lady! May you have a fantastic fun day," said one person.
Another added: "Shouting out the biggest, happy birthday ever. Hope you have an amazing birthday."
While the age gap couple have their supporters, they also have their critics - some of their own family members included at the beginning of their relationship.
One of Almeda's grandchildren admitted she found it 'weird' at first, but now appreciates that her grandma's happy.
"How can you not be supportive about [her being happy]?" said 17-year-old Indiana.
"For me personally, whenever they first got together it was a little bit weird. But I mean, we live in the 21st century and those things really shouldn't matter."
Her mother, Amelda's daughter, reportedly finds it harder though.
"My mom on the other hand is very outspoken," the teenager explained.
"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."