WHEN Kerry Rogers lost her husband Roy Roberts, 68, in August 2020 she thought she might never find love again.
But the mum-of-three, 32, who lives in Chatham, Kent, is now planning her second wedding – and it's to his best mate.
Even more shockingly Roy Roberts bequethed Kerry Rogers to Terry Roberts, knowing he was dying.
Kerry is speaking in the first part of Fabulous' new series, My Life's a Soap in which we talk to people whose lives could be plotlines in your favourite shows.
Beyond the grave blessing
She says: “People are always shocked but it was Roy’s idea for me and Terry to get together.
“My husband told Terry to look after me and that’s why I know us finding love together has his blessing.
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“Roy made me promise I’d marry again and start dating a year after he passed away. He threatened to come back as a ghost and haunt me by biting me on the bum if I didn't.”
Former pub landlady Kerry is used to controversy and it's not just marrying her late husband's mate that has people gossiping.
“There was a 40 year age gap between me and Roy when we met and fell in love,” she says.
“Now there’s a 26 year age gap between me and Terry, I adore older men.
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“After all love is about the person, not their age.
“Roy was older than my dad and four decades older than me but he was young at heart and Terry is the same – a true gentleman.”
Kerry was 21 when she met Roy, then 61, a retired builder , at a karaoke bar in Chatham in June 2012.
“We started chatting and I loved his banter,” she recalls.
“I suffer from epilepsy and was having trouble with the frequency of my seizures and medications.
“When I told Roy I was struggling he encouraged me to get my health in order and once I had he would give me a call.
“I thought he was joking but we soon became friends,” she explains.
Roy, who was 18 years older than Kerry’s dad, realised they were attracted to each other just three months after meeting.
“Roy was a silver fox and I have an old soul, we just clicked,” Kerry says.
The couple met in June 2012 and were in a relationship by August
Kerry says: “We didn't care about the 40 year age gap or the people who told us we were bonkers.
“Roy had children from a previous marriage as well as grandchildren and our relationship caused a stir.
“People told me he was old enough to be my grandfather and they told Roy I was just a silly girl but we didn’t listen.”
A mere four months after meeting, Roy proposed to Kerry presenting her with a diamond ring in September 2012.
“It was a total whirlwind,” she says.
“I knew Roy was the man for me. I knew he was four decades my senior but all I saw was a handsome man.”
The couple married on Boxing Day 2015 exchanging vows at the local registry office.
“Roy looked handsome in a suit, I wore a long white wedding dress and had three bridesmaids in pale pink,” Kerry recalls.
“We had 200 guests join us at the local steakhouse to celebrate afterwards.”
In February 2017 the couple welcomed their first child together, William Anthony Rogers, now 6, named after Roy’s favourite TV character Buck rogers.
My husband told Terry to look after me and that’s why I know us finding love together has his blessing
When the new family got home Kerry’s OAP husband proved he was a dab hand at changing nappies, helping with night feeds and playing with Lego.
“Roy was an amazing father ,” says Kerry.
In January 2019, after suffering a miscarriage in 2018, Kerry discovered she was pregnant with twins.
“We were thrilled but I was worried about Roy. His health was getting worse and he was in and out of hospital for treatment,” she says.
Roy had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of COPD before he’d even met Kerry.
COPD is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties which include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
“COPD was slowly destroying his lungs,” Kerry says.
“The condition was caused by breathing in dust on building sites for over forty years.”
Kerry recalls there were times her husband’s breathing was so bad she had to call the ambulance and was by his side whenever he was in hospital.
In September 2019 the couple welcomed twins Connor and Ruby, now 4, after Kerry underwent a C-section.
“It was joyous and I knew I’d have my work cut out for me with a toddler and twins as Roy was bed-bound due to his illness,” she says.
“I was his carer and he had a constant stream of people visiting. He was popular and loved introducing everyone to our three lovely kids.”
Love and support
One of the visitors was Terry Roberts, a friend of Roy’s whom Kerry had met two years previously at hospital with her husband.
“Terry was always popping round to see Roy and one night after he had left Roy dropped a bombshell,” Kerry says.
“He told me that Terry was a decent bloke and that he’d asked him to look after me when he was gone,” she recalls.
“Tears welled up in my eyes. I refused to listen, telling Roy he was going to rally and had years to live.”
Then six months after the twins were born Roy was hospitalised in April 2020. The COPD had ravaged his body and Roy’s hospital file was marked end of life care.
“We were both heartbroken and crying, I knew Roy would fight for every last breath,” Kerry says.
“In August 2020 Roy came home because he wanted to spend his final days with us.
“I woke up at 6am one morning with a start and checked if Roy had enough blankets.
“I remember touching him and he was cold. I knew my lovely husband had passed away in his sleep. He was 68 and I was devastated.
“I told the kids Daddy was in the stars.”
Kerry admits she was griefstriken by her husband's death and found herself struggling with her loss and the three children after the funeral.
That’s when Terry knocked on the door and offered to help Kerry with the kids.
“He’d pop in for a cuppa and we’d talk about Roy,” Kerry says.
“Terry would help around the house, play with the kids and just be there for me, he even did some DIY. Having someone to remember Roy with was a blessing.
“I knew he was keeping the promise he’d made to Roy.”
Ten months after Roy’s funeral Kerry admits she started looking forward to Terry’s visits.
“I was getting butterflies,” she admits.
“I realised I fancied Terry but I felt disgusted with myself because Terry was Roy’s mate and I was his widow.”
Everything changed the night Terry popped over with a Chinese takeaway a year after Roy had passed.
“We both reached for the prawn crackers at the same time and our hands touched,” Kerry recalled.
“We looked at each other and kissed.
“It was then that we both realised that we wanted to be together.
“I knew that Roy was giving me a ‘push from the beyond’.
“It was a year since he had passed and he’d made me promise that I’d then find a new man after 12 months..
“Even in heaven Roy was going to get his own way, he’s a pushy ghost.”
Initially Terry and Kerry were careful not to rush into their relationship too quickly.
“I wanted to make sure I wasn't rebounding due to grief and so did Terry,” she says.
“I didn't want to upset the kids and we wanted to take it slow for everyone's sake.”
The couple started dating and Kerry admits she and her new man were targeted by trolls.
“People criticised me for moving on with Roy’s mate,” she says.
“And of course with an age gap of 26 years, they had plenty to say about that too.
“We didn't care, we knew Roy wanted us together and we knew what we’d promised him.
I know he’ll be there when we say our vows, we’ll even set a place for him at the reception and be sure to toast him
“Some people moaned that it was taboo to hook up with your ex husband’s friend but Roy had told me to follow my heart and his advice.”
On New Year's Day this year Terry dropped to one knee in the kitchen and proposed to Kerry.
“I was stunned and thrilled,” she says.
“My family has been supportive and the kids love Terry but we both agree no one can replace Roy and we toast him on our date nights.”
The couple are getting married next year and Kerry is planning a white wedding in spite of their critics.
“People are still gossiping and trolling me,” she says.
“They can't grasp the age gaps or the fact Roy made sure Terry was in my life for a reason.
“Roy left me with the greatest gift I could have gotten – love and happiness with Terry to look after our family.
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“I know he’ll be there when we say our vows, we’ll even set a place for him at the reception and be sure to toast him.
“So let the trolls talk, I’m planning a wedding watched over by my late husband.”
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