A 39-year-old mother of two spent her last months looking for a new partner for her husband who would appreciate him and her sons.
Clare Mauremootoo was identified as having motor neuronopathy, a disease that results in muscle weakness, in 2006.
There is presently no cure for the degenerative illness, which impairs a person’s ability to walk, speak, swallow, and breathe. Clare was devastated at the thought of being unable to provide for her 11-year-old husband John and their two sons, Ben and Jack.
She put a lot of time and effort into attempting to find John a new love, even setting him up on dates with nurses at Somerset’s Weston Hospice, where she spent her last two months.
Clare encouraged John, 52, to get ready for life without her despite his desire for her to be well enough to come home. She hoped he would find another woman to share his life with and who would help him take care of their two sons.
“She promised she would assist me in finding love,” he added. She even started corresponding with hospice representatives in an effort to schedule a date for us.
“I, however, wasn’t ready. Although I wasn’t sure if I would ever be, Clare wanted me to be.”
In 1993, John and Clare connected through mutual friends and got hitched two years later. John was caught off guard when Clare asked him to start dating again because he had never considered having a new partner in life.
He said that she would frequently say, “I don’t care how you meet someone.” She even suggested a number of our friends! “Everything seemed to be moving far too quickly,”
As her health gradually got worse, Clare and John decided that the 11th of February would be the last time their sons would see her.
On February 19, 2007, Clare celebrated her final Valentine’s Day with John. She passed away four days later.
John said, “Clare died in my arms. I told her how much I loved her and told her not to worry about the boys, I would take good care of the boys.”
“I made an effort to carry on as usual, getting the boys ready for school and preparing dinner for them, but I couldn’t help but feel like Clare was watching us.”
“Although I never forgot her request for me to meet someone new, I didn’t want the boys to believe I was taking over for their mother.”
“But I was alone after the boys had gone to bed. I craved Clare’s presence and missed her. I, therefore, opened an account on a dating website in May.”
That’s how he got to know Julie Macfarlane, a nurse who had just had a divorce and had two kids: John, who was then ten, and Isobel, who was then six (pictured with John and his sons below).
“When the moment was right, I told Jack and Ben I was dating Julie,” John said. “They were horrified at first, but over the next six months, they warmed up to her and her children.”
The two families moved in together in March 2008, and in April 2012, John and Julie were married. Isobel served as a bridesmaid and their three children served as best men.
John added, “I talked about Clare’s diagnosis, our time together, and her wish for me to find someone special.”
“Clare wanted us to be happy, and I think she would be now that things have gone as they have, so I told everyone I envisioned her smiling down on us.”