IT'S THE WEEKEND: Love is in the air
Updated 3:21pm Saturday 8th February 2014 in News
While for many couples, February 14 might mean a treat of a meal out or a delivery of flowers - for others it has a much more special meaning.
And among these is Trinant pair Jean and Mike Edmunds who are the perfect match-in more ways than one.
Seven years ago Mrs Edmunds, 65, of Pentwyn Terrace, gave her husband the gift of life by donating her kidney to him after he was diagnosed with kidney failure.
Mr Edmunds, 68, who had kidney problems since 1989, needed a transplant after his body rejected dialysis treatment.
Extensive tests showed she was a match and they underwent a successful operation.
The former miner said: “If it were not for Jean I would not be here today. I can never thank her enough.”
“It is the best thing anyone has ever done for me.”
Mrs Edmunds said: “We were a perfect match, which is wonderful as we couldn’t be more different in our taste of music, clothes and television.”
“I was very emotional that I was able to do that for him and I have absolutely no regrets about giving him my heart - or my kidney."
The couple first met at Caerphilly Social Club before tying the knot in a butterfly-and-hearts themed wedding at Trinant Methodist Church on Valentine’s Day in 1988.
“One of our close friends sang Julie Rogers ‘The Wedding’ as I walked down the aisle- it was a lovely day.”
Mrs Edmunds explained why she chose Valentine’s Day.
She said: “I remember one Valentine’s Day in the late 1970s when my daughter was undergoing a major operation in Chepstow and my ex-husband was getting into a wheelchair for the first time after breaking his neck at Stoke Manderville.”
“Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’ was playing on the radio and I remember walking down the street in Chepstow in tears. Every year after, Valentine’s Day was a horrible day so I decided the best thing to do was to change that and get married on that day.”
Now the loving couple are preparing to celebrate their 26th anniversary.
“Every year we always go out for a meal with friends and have never missed one.
On our 20th anniversary we went out for lunch with family and friends, because Mike was performing as ‘Widow Twanky’ in the Trinant-based Starstruck Productions’ version of Aladdin at Cwmcarn High School.”
Mrs Edmunds said her husband does often surprise her with dinner when she gets home from work as a counsellor and helps her to relax with an Indian head massage.
“He can be very romantic. He took me away on a surprise trip for my birthday to Aberaeron. I was absolutely gobsmacked and couldn’t believe it.”
Mr Edmunds argues that his wife is the romantic one and said they are considering renewing their vows on their 30th anniversary.
For Ponthir couple, Haydn and Carolyn Trollope this Valentine’s Day marks their first wedding anniversary.
Mrs Trollope, 59, who has greeted visitors and callers at the reception desk at the Argus office for 17 years as a sales consultant inbound, described long-term love Hadyn, 65, as the perfect husband who is extremely generous, kind and romantic.
The Argus employee said she was the happiest woman in Gwent when they tied the knot at the Glen-yr-Afon Hotel, near Usk, last year before jetting off to Barcelona for their honeymoon.
She said: “We have been together since 1995.A lot of people said we would never do this but he is a very romantic man so to get married on Valentine’s Day was perfect.”
“When we first began dating he would leave a single red rose under my windscreen wiper of my car and I would come out of work to find it there,” she explained.
“We would go often to Abergavenny for a coffee and he would go off and come back with a pair of beautiful earrings, bracelets and a pearl necklace.”
“He’s always surprising me with gifts, from chocolates to sending me flowers in work.”
“I saw a pendant I really liked while on holiday in Jersey one year, Haydn must have made a mental note of it and telephoned the jeweller to buy it once we were back in Wales. He had it delivered and gave it to me on my birthday which was a lovely surprise.”
“But the biggest surprise came when we were on a cruise to the Emirates. We were sitting at dinner with friends when he proposed out of the blue.”
“He took a box out of his pocket and proposed.”
Mr Trollope said he had been planning to ask her a few days into the cruise and still finds it emotional to talk about the moment she agreed to become his wife.
“It was he who suggested getting married on Valentine’s Day and it was perfect. The sun shone and we celebrated with 18 friends and family," said Mrs Trollope.
After 19 years together Mrs Trollope said her husband is as romantic as ever and always presents her with red roses on Valentine's Day.
“For 20 years I have always wanted a mini-Dachshund and after we got married and Haydn retired he bought me Darcey, now 11 months-old.”
“He still buys me flowers and is an incredibly romantic man.”
“He swept me off my feet. Apart from having my children, the day I got married was the happiest day of my life.”
Mr Trollope added: “I knew she was the one for me from the first moment I saw her. It was destiny that brought us together.”
This year the couple plan to enjoy a romantic mini-break to Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds.
He said: “We’ll have a candlelit dinner for two to celebrate. We don’t need to go anywhere special. It's just nice to get away together."
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