Tony's wife passed away in May this year, just 9 days after her cancer diagnosis.
Christmas is a festival that brings a lot of joy into people's lives. It's the one day of the year where everyone gets together to celebrate the magical festivities with lights, food, and how can you forget eggnog!
However, there are some people who are not so fortunate to spend this special day with their loved ones. Tony Williams is one of them. After losing his wife to cancer earlier this year, the 75-year-old has been in search of a companion and now he has taken out a heartfelt appeal, according to The Daily Mail. The old man has been lending out cards promising "sumptuous feast, fine wines, and good conversation," to anyone who agrees to spend time with him.
Tony Williams is offering to cook a 'sumptuous meal with fine wines' on Christmas Day in return for company https://t.co/0Xj5ffg9Jo— Metro (@MetroUK) December 7, 2020
Tony's wife Jo was 75 when she passed away from pancreatic cancer in May, just nine days after the diagnosis. Still mourning the loss, Tony revealed, "She was the loveliest person I had ever met - she was everything. We were soulmates. She died so quickly after we moved here from Gloucestershire, where we spent all of our married life. It all happened so fast. She died in my arms in nine days."
Previously, the retired legal secretary had launched another appeal during the lockdown to make friends and it worked because he received many replies from absolute strangers who wanted to befriend him. However, the first Christmas without his beloved wife is taking a toll on the widower. "I can't face being on my own at this time of year. I have had responses, but one was a vegetarian and another had no interests that I share," he said.
A pensioner has put up a heart-breaking poster in his window ‘as a last resort’ to make friends after the death of his wife left him completely isolated.https://t.co/YZx39rM4Ik— Eden Project Communities (@edencommunities) September 14, 2020
He added, "I don't want someone coming here and not speaking, watching me carve the turkey - although I don't really like turkey. I love cooking, and I'm a bit of a wine connoisseur, but what I decide to cook depends on who will join me." Tony has relatives who are living far away from him but the pensioner doesn't want to take any risks especially during the pandemic.
"The top priority is safety. My sister Tessa, who lives in Suffolk, said 'you are coming here for Christmas', but she has two grown-up children and several grandchildren," said the concerned man. The whole situation made him develop the idea of giving away cards. "We both recognized that was a big restraint, and that's when I came up with the plan to put the cards up," he added.
The card reads, "Alone at Christmas? Tony Williams will cook you a sumptuous feast with fine wines to make the mood festive. If you are cultured, lively, humorous, and enjoy good conversation, ring me." Tony has placed them on lamp posts, community display boards, and telegraph poles as well.
When Tony put up a board on his window during the lockdown, requesting for a companion, he got an amazing response with emails and phone calls flooding in. Elaborating, Tony said, "At one point emails were coming in at a rate of four or five a minute - I just couldn't handle it," reported Metro.
A heatwarming update ❤️https://t.co/oVBLXhKPD1— Eden Project Communities (@edencommunities) September 16, 2020
"There were lots of people from America, Canada, New Zealand, some from Australia, and even people calling from as far away as Namibia and Guatemala. It has been absolutely amazing, but I would trade it all in to have my lovely Jo back by my side," he added, "I have had a hard time, but nothing will defeat me. I'm a strong person."
Since the couple didn't have any kids, when a teacher contacted him asking if the students of her class could send him letters, he accepted the offer without hesitation. "I got in touch with her straight away and said it would be delightful. I would love that."
Even though his neighbors have tried helping him out by offering their hand for friendship, he has always refused because he wants someone his age with whom he can have a good conversation, someone with similar likes and dislikes. He always has a set of business cards in his pocket to lend it out to people whenever he's out for a walk or at the supermarket.
Tony hopes to raise money in tribute to his late wife for pancreatic cancer research in the coming years. He wants to name the project "Just for Jo."