"The one good thing about getting married more than once is that you have a better idea about faulty goods the second time around. Just short of six years ago, I saw Sheila for the first time. I knew almost from that first meeting between us that though true love will never be found where it does not exist; neither can one's heart deny it where it does!
Since our marriage on my 70th birthday in November 2012, Sheila has made me happier than any man outside the gates of heaven has any right to expect. Ever since we met, Sheila realised that I would never be the type of man who would allow himself to be bound by convention or seek shelter under the umbrella of popularity whatever the occasion, and to her lasting credit, she has never sought to change me from being the man she first met. She saw in me from the start, a freedom of thought and expression that would never be imprisoned and she has generally allowed me my own way in all things. In doing this, she has shown herself to be the wisest of women and the best of wives. She has always understood how to keep her lovebird; she has always known that if you love someone, you set them free, and if they come back they are yours, and if they don't, they never were!
Shortly after our marriage, we were both faced with the news that I had a terminal illness which could be placed in remission if a nine month course of chemotherapy worked, but which could never be cured and which would return at a later date. Since learning that news, Sheila has been the very foundation of my living strength. We have had to face many medical obstacles over the past four years and there has rarely been one week when my health and functioning was trouble free. This experience has taught me that love is never static; it is an ever-growing process that develops and strengthens through the ups and downs of life. It is never stronger than when a man and wife cry, laugh and suffer together and its mainstay is the knowledge that if love is to survive to the end, it should never try to escape reality or abandon hope.
Today is Sheila's sixtieth birthday which is a landmark for both of us. For a woman to hit the big 60 without looking a day older than 50 is no mean feat in today's pressurised world, and for me, to be married to a woman aged 60 is also a first! Thank you, Sheila, for the love that you have always given me and your most unselfish of ways. There are only two occasions in life that I long to be close to you; now and forevermore. A very happy birthday, sweetheart. Know that you are loved more than any other woman has ever been loved. Forever yours Bill xxxxx" Wlliam Forde: November 29th, 2016.