22 June 2023
Wendy and Glenn’s story
Wendy McMahon reminisces the brief time she shared with her husband Glenn
“I get great joy remembering the times we had, Glenn and I. There are seasons in your life and that was one of the seasons of my life, and probably one of the best seasons. I enjoyed every minute of it, till he died.”
Wendy McMahon reminisces fondly about the brief time she shared with her husband Glenn, before he died, aged 53, just 15 months after they married.
They’d actually known each other for years, since meeting through the youth club their children attended in Chislehurst. Then, when they both divorced, they got together at a friend’s party.
Wendy was attracted by Glenn’s enjoyment of sports, food and wine as well as a wide range of music and all-round vivaciousness.
“It was the worst diagnosis, our second chance at happiness”
It was while they were dating that keen golfer Glenn noticed something was wrong. Playing golf, he started having difficulty moving his right foot. After scans and a biopsy in 2013, he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma multiforme, Grade 4.
“It was the worst diagnosis, our second chance at happiness, and we knew it would be cut short,” Wendy says.
Doctors ruled out surgery , and they told Glenn he had a short prognosis.
The couple refused to let Glenn’s terminal diagnosis prevent them from enjoying what time they had left together. He coped amazingly well with all his treatments and was only ever ill due to his own mistake of insisting on cooking and eating out of date sausages, Wendy remembers.
“It was during his courses of chemo that we decided to get married. So, we had to time it very specifically and we had a very, very happy wedding day, surrounded by our friends and family.”
We had 15 fantastic months together, I like to think we packed 50 years of marriage into 15 months, because we did something every single day
After the wedding in February 2014, the couple enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon in Italy and continued to cram in as much as they could in the time available.
I like to think we packed 50 years of marriage into 15 months
Wendy remembers fondly: “We had 15 fantastic months together, I like to think we packed 50 years of marriage into 15 months, because we did something every single day. Even if I’d been at work, I’d get home and he’d say where are we going today? He was very vivacious, very much a talker.”
They’d often meet up with friends at Westerham Golf Club where Glenn, a former printer, had been captain.
Glenn started to deteriorate after that Christmas, losing the use of his right arm. Soon after his speech began to deteriorate too. Wendy says his lust for life continued right up to the end though.
“Even in the last week of his life, we were doing something every day, even though I could see he wasn’t doing so well. So, he died very quickly and very painlessly – thankfully – we are always grateful to God for that.”
Glenn was admitted to Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough and died there, surrounded by his family.
I don’t get cross about it, I bask in the beauty of what we had even though it was only for a short time
The couple had been married just 15 months. Wendy says that despite feeling like their future was stolen from them, she is eternally grateful for the special times they had together.
“I can’t answer the whys. I don’t get cross about it, I bask in the beauty of what we had even though it was only for a short time. Sometimes they say, you only have something for a short time and it’s really, really sweet.”
After Glenn’s death, Wendy decided to continue work as an Occupational Therapist, which she still does – now here at St Christopher’s. She adds: “I just decided if I was going to do it I would do it better, with more empathy and more understanding.”
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