17/02/2015 10:34 GMT | Updated 18/04/2015 06:59 BST

Born to Be Together

A long time ago, there were two ladies who became friends, whilst waiting for appointments at their local doctors surgery.

Both were expecting babies, and they just hit it off....You know when two people meet and suddenly you become friends for life, this is what happened to them.

Funnily both were called Alice.

As their bumps grew, their friendship also developed, and soon Alice McHale gave birth to a little boy called Raymond, and Alice Benbow gave birth to a beautiful girl called Florence.

A few years passed, and I am sure many happy times were spent when the two Alice's got together to chat, and the children played together.

Sadly tragedy struck, when Alice McHale became sick and died of sepsis, leaving her husband in charge of Raymond. Adoption must have been considered, as when Alice Benbow heard the heart-breaking news, she went to the family and asked if she could adopt her dear friends child, as she would love him as her own.

Instead of taking Alice up on this wonderful offer, the family rallied, and Raymond's Grandmother and Aunt pledged to help, so this little boy was able to stay in his family.

Many years passed.....and we now jump in time.

A dance was taking place. You can just picture it in your mind, officers dressed up, war time music playing. Two people caught each others eye, and a romance developed.

Soon the time came for the young lady to take this dashing young man to meet her parents.

Nervously they entered the house, hoping that her parents would like him, so a proposal would be welcomed.

What happened next however, no one expected!

As Raymond walked into the room, Alice looked up.

She recognized this young man.

This was the her best friends little boy, the child she wanted to raise as her own.

Out of all the boys, in all the world, her daughter Florence had fallen in love with Alice's boy Raymond.

Today Florence and Raymond have been married for nearly 70 years....and they are my amazing Grandparents.


(Photo taken by Andy Clark-Coates. Florence & Ray holding their Great Grandchild Esme.)


(Photo of Florence and Raymond holding hands on February 14th 2015, taken by Zoe Clark-Coates)

Zoe Clark-Coates is one of the founders and CEO's of the Mariposa Trust. The Saying Goodbye division offers support and national remembrance services for anyone who has lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years.

Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK

Instagram: ZoeAdelle

Facebook: /SayinggoodbyeUK


Website: &