What's meant to be will always find a way — even in the most unlikely circumstances.
Just ask Krista Fudge and David Boudreau.
The newly-engaged couple fell in love at the Loch Lomond Village, the 100-bed nursing home in east Saint John where they both live.
Their love story gives a new meaning to the phrase "long term care facility."
"Even during COVID-19, there is love still going around," Boudreau said.
Love at first sight
When Fudge was a young woman growing up in Saint John, she "always wanted to have a husband, and X amount of children," she said.
But at age 55, she'd "basically given up on getting married."
Fudge has mobility issues and uses a wheelchair after a brain tumour surgery as a teenager.
"I was in a coma for a month, which caused me to have paralysis from the neck down," she said.
She first saw Boudreau, also 55, when he was taking a tour of the Village in December.
He lives with a rare condition called Morquio syndrome, which affects his speech and all the joints in his body, and was living in another nursing home in Black's Harbour.
"He saw me across the room and said to his brother, Paul Boudreau, 'I'm going to marry that woman one day,'" Fudge said.
"I just had the thought come in my head," said Boudreau. "We both knew it was love at first sight."
"I love her personality. It was destiny."
'My handsome hunk'
Boudreau wasted no time asking Fudge on a first date: a movie, followed by dinner in the cafeteria.
They bonded over a shared love of TV shows like The Sopranos, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and the news. Both devout Catholics, they say the rosary together every day.
"I call David my handsome hunk of a man," Fudge said.
Still — like any couple — they have disagreements. Mainly over the British soap opera Coronation Street.
"He loves it, I don't." said Fudge.
"She boots it out of my room," Boudreau said.
On August 9, Boudreau felt the time was right to propose.
"We were on our way out to the courtyard because it was a beautiful, sunny day," Fudge said.
"David said that he had forgotten something in his room. I said, 'why don't I go get my hat while you're in your room?'
And he said, 'no, I want you to come to my room.'"
"He said, 'come over here for a minute.'
In front of the window, by his late mother's picture. "he brought out the pretty purple box. My favourite colour is purple."
"I took the box. I opened it up. The tears flowed, and then wouldn't stop."
A small wedding
The pair are planning a celebration in the coming year with family and friends.
But the wedding will have to wait until COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings are lifted.
They're hoping to tie the knot "as soon as the nursing home opens up its doors," Boudreau said.
"I'd like it to be somewhat small. I don't know if 95 people is small or not, but that's the number we came down to," Fudge said.
"My family is delighted."
Boudreau and Fudge hope their story is an inspiration to anyone feeling they'll never get their shot at happiness.
"Who would have thought that me — living at home back then, looking for a mate, would find one in a nursing home?" Fudge said.
"Don't give up hope. Tomorrow is always another day."