When Brian and Elizabeth moved into Tapestry at Victoria Harbour, each expected to live in an exceptional environment and meet other residents looking to connect and benefit from the many advantages of living in a unique wellness-inspired community.
What they didn’t expect to find at Tapestry was each other and a new lease on love, companionship and marriage.
“Both of us moved in with the expectation of finding company,” says Brian. “When your spouse passes away, your life changes very dramatically and you suddenly realize the extent of companionship you’ve lost. We both wanted to join a community like Victoria Harbour…we didn’t want to be alone.”
Brian decided to move into Tapestry at Victoria Harbour after caring for his dear wife who suffered from a serious illness for almost two decades. He had explored retirement communities in Vancouver near his home, but after being introduced to Tapestry in Victoria, he was intrigued enough to take a first-hand look. The community’s extraordinary culinary offering and its splendid location with easy access to parks, amenities and services were major selling features for Brian.
When asked why she chose Victoria Harbour, Elizabeth says the community actually “chose her.” After exploring another retirement community closer to her only son, who had decided to relocate to an acreage on Vancouver Island, Elizabeth decided a city location was more suited to her needs. When she was shown a suite on the 12th floor with a spectacular view of the ocean and mountains, she was sold. Her decision to move into Tapestry at Victoria Harbour was confirmed when her son visited the suite and declared, “mom, you’ve arrived in heaven!”
It was a gorgeous West Coast day and their shared love of cats that brought Brian and Elizabeth together at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour soon after they had each moved into their new home.
Elizabeth was outdoors walking her precious cat (“Leo”), something she does often, when Brian showed up with his own beloved feline (“Min”) and struck up a conversation with the lovely woman with the sparkling blue eyes. They soon discovered they shared many common interests and quickly developed a friendship that rapidly evolved into a close bond.
“We agreed on everything,” says Elizabeth, commenting on what attracted her to Brian at first blush. “We share many interests and like to do many of the same things….and the cats got along of course. You could say it is a match made in heaven!”
After nine months, they agreed to marry when Brian and Elizabeth selected a stunning antique diamond engagement ring as an exquisite symbol of their desire to be together for the rest of their lives. While there were no overly romantic gestures involved in their thoughtful decision, there was a shared respect and a mutual understanding that life would absolutely be better together as partners, companions and spouses.
“Some adults get stuck and feel guilty about moving forward after the loss of a spouse,” says Brian. “Elizabeth and I say, ‘our past is the past’. We’re happy to talk about our experiences, but we want to move forward together.”
Elizabeth agrees that moving forward and embracing all that life has to offer at every age is the only way to live. “The four- year period after my husband died, I was alone and I didn’t enjoy it one little bit,” adds Elizabeth. “I believe you need to honour what your life has been, but you also need to move on and find happiness. That’s what Brian and I have chosen to do.”
Although there was some skepticism from certain family members early on in their relationship, both Brian and Elizabeth’s families are now thrilled they found each other at Tapestry and have committed their lives together. Elizabeth admits that her son took awhile to process their impending marriage having to reframe the image of his mother, who in his eyes was first and foremost a nurturer, mother and grandmother.
“I don’t think my son thought I would actually find love again at 81-years-old,” says Elizabeth, her bright eyes smiling. “It was definitely a shift for my son, but he is very happy for us today.”
In fact, friends and family were so thrilled with the news of the nuptials that almost 30 joined the couple, many travelling from other parts of Canada and the U.S., for their intimate wedding ceremony on February 25th at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria. It was a beautiful event with the groom dressed in a classic black tuxedo and the bride wearing a mauve silk gown with a sparkling, yet understated, bolero jacket.
A celebratory reception followed at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour giving all of the residents an opportunity to join in the festivities and toast the happy couple. Later in the evening, friends and family enjoyed a four-course meal created by the community’s culinary team featuring all of the couple’s favourites, including the chocolate wedding cake, a special request of the bride who also happens to be a chocolate aficionado. A European honeymoon is planned for later this summer as Brian and Elizabeth attend a wedding on the Crotian Island of Hvar. They are looking forward to travelling, another passion they share.
When asked if one is ever too old to find love, Brian is quick to answer. “Definitely not,” he says. “One of the comments we heard early on about our getting together was that we were making too quick of a decision. But we thought, why should we wait…what’s the point? When you have the opportunity, you have to take it!”
Tapestry wishes Brian and Elizabeth a long and happy marriage as members of our Victoria Harbour community.
While we can’t promise you’ll find love when you move into any one of Tapestry’s seniors’ communities, you can expect to find exceptional amenities, programs and services, and a vibrant group of residents living rich, connected and purposeful lives. Contact us for more information about living at Tapestry.
We are sure that you will fall in love with Tapestry!
**The beautiful photos in this blog were lovingly captured by Carlos Nobrega. Carlos, who works as a Concierge at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour, often shares his passion (and tremendous talent) for photography with our community. We are thankful for his contribution and commitment!