NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) — Wednesday marks the start of a new chapter for two people who weren’t sure what the coming pages of their stories would bring them.
Ann Hoover was preparing Tuesday, packing up the belongings in her small living space. “We’ve got work to do,” she said. With her daughter’s help, Hoover was getting ready to move into a bigger unit at Brookdale Senior Living in New Braunfels.
Although it might be more space, she realized she couldn’t take everything with her.
“It’s a brand new ballgame,” she said. “I never thought I’d be getting married again.” At age 87, Hoover has been living at the retirement home for the last year, putting together puzzles and enjoying spending time outside.
Two doors down on her hall, a new neighbor turned into a new adventure. “We started talking and we’ve never stopped,” Allen Seelhammer, 78, said. Neither remembers the first time they saw each other, but they recall the ease with which they got along, the shared interest in history, their faith in God.
“He’s funny, and I trust him completely,” Hoover said, sitting in her fiancé’s living room before Seelhammer’s grown son moved the two leather chairs to the bigger space the couple will share. “[He’s] sweet as pie, and he’s always telling me lovely stuff I love. It’s good; I wouldn’t want to miss a day.”
Hoover met Seelhammer shortly after he moved in — at the beginning of November this year. They were engaged a month later, and Hoover wanted to have the wedding before Christmas. “I gave her a lot of chances to back out,” Seelhammer said with a laugh.
“My family was a little surprised at first,” Hoover said, “but after being around him a little bit they saw why I was so attracted.”
“We enjoy life. We just really enjoy life,” Seelhammer said. “And for us, life has many facets to it, and this is just another facet of our life, you know, and we’re going to make the very most of every day.”
Both of them lost their first spouses — Ann’s husband to cancer after more than 30 years together, Allen’s wife to dementia after almost 60. Neither was expecting their lives to take this turn in a retirement home.
But then they met. “We never wanted to be apart,” Seelhammer said.
“When you’re by yourself, you know, there’s something missing, and he fills it better than anyone I know,” Hoover said. “He’ll say, ‘Have I told you lately I love you?’ And it wasn’t just once every day or so — it was constantly.”
Hoover’s grown children bought her a wedding dress and Tuesday Seelhammer’s son came to measure him for a new shirt. The wedding is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday and will be held in the living room of the senior living center so the friends they’ve made there can be a part of it. Brookdale will stream the wedding live on Facebook, and you can watch at this link.
Then the two will retire to their new, slightly larger apartment on the other side of the facility, where they’ll start writing the next chapter of their lives together.
“Don’t be afraid of growing older, because it’s just another stage of life,” Seelhammer said. “It’s what you make out of it. And that’s what we’re doing with our marriage.”
Ann Hoover and Allen Seelhammer’s wedding day!
Ann Hoover and Allen Seelhammer’s wedding day! x
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