I Got Married – Again

Here’s the context: I was raised in a home completely void of demonstrative love and romance. Even hugs were few and far between.

Hence, unlike all the elaborate, carefully & lovingly planned out marriage proposals we see on FB nowadays, I never really proposed to Michelle.

We were driving around in Lubbock, TX, in 1984 shopping for engagement rings and, while stopped at an intersection, Michelle said, “You know, you’ve never actually asked me to marry you.” In pure embarrassingly (now), ignorant, 19 year old, moronic fashion, I popped off, “You wanna get married?” She said yes.

She deserved better.

Well, 33 years of marriage, and three kids later, I decided it’s never too late to do the right thing.

I’ve been planning this “marriage proposal” since July.

The scene: 2pm; 11/20 (her birthday) at the “Poetry Garden” (a private section at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens); i had the entire family in on it; I spun the outing as a “family photo.”

I had asked Joe Price, my best Man 33 years ago, to serve as my Best Man once again. His family drove all the way up from Houston to be a part of this moment.

We all arrived at 2pm. Joe and his family entered the private garden a few minutes later. Obviously, this shocked Michelle as she had no idea what they were doing there.

It was at that moment I turned to Michelle and said, “We are not here for a family photo…” (At that point my mouth went dry and I thought I was going to throw up )

As i conveyed my loved to her, my family began to take their places as Michelle’s dad (he performed our wedding 33 years ago) stood before us and prepared to “marry us” once again.

My best man, Joe, stood at my side, holding a picture of Jordan.  Our daughters, Kelsie and Macy,  stood at Michelle’s side.

Then I looked at Michelle and said, “Before we get married I need to ask you something.”

It was then that I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. (I thought I was gonna have to get Joe to help me back up )

At the end of the ceremony, Jordan “sang” (via one of his albums) his song that begins “when I see your smile I see the sun.”  The pic below was taken during that song. We are both grieving, but rejoicing that our marriage has survived that loss.

Then, Harry (Michelle’s Dad) pronounced us husband and wife (again) and and I kissed my bride. Michelle thought it was over. But it wasn’t.

We had to have our “first dance.”

One of my youth asked me back in the late 90’s, “Hey Nick, what’s yours and Michelle’s song?” I said, “What are you talking about?” That teenage boy said, “Come on man – every couple has their special song.” His passion cut me to the heart. So Lionel Richie’s song, “Still in Love” quickly became “our song.”

Back to our “first dance”: Macy hit “play” on her Bluetooth and Michelle and I danced to our song. (Well, we mostly just swayed back and forth.)

After that, I told Macy to hit play again where I had included the 1976 classic, “Still the One” by Orleans. And we partied and – yes – took lots of family photos.

To all you husbands out there, I am a complete mess. I have blown it worse, and more often than you can imagine. There have been times when i genuinely believed our marriage was over. (Just ask our daughters.)

But, I’ve found it’s never too late to do the right thing.

Jordan, we’re making it. I proposed to your mom and she said yes. You were there. I learned how to become romantic and swallow enough of my insecurity to express my love, in large part, by watching you. One day, we will sit together again at the “marriage supper of the Lamb.” What a celebration that will be. ❤️

It was… the perfect day.

I love you all, Nick

The Toll of Suicide on a Marriage

I’ll NEVER FORGET IT….

I’ll never forget the very first thing Michelle (my wife) told me when she arrived at our house that life-changing afternoon on May 13th, when I found our son dead.

I was on my knees screaming, wailing, in our driveway, and all of a sudden there she was, holding me by the shoulders and looking at me in the eyes. She said, “We’re gonna make it. We’re gonna stay married.”

Michelle knew a statistic I didn’t: some 90% of marriages don’t make it after the loss of a child.

Dr. Frank Page, in his book about his own daughter’s suicide, writes, “Marriages are frequently the next in line to die after suicide has claimed it’s initial victim….It’s a secondary, collateral target of nearly every suicide. Know that. Expect that. And realize your marriage is now more dependent than ever on your willingness to forgive, to avoid blame and argument, and to allow one another to be yourselves, particularly through those first months and years when emotions and sensitivities are still so painful to the touch.”

Page continues, “No one is ready for this. No one. But we can stay resolved to preserving what remains, including the oft-undervalued treasure of each other. We’re much harder [for the enemy] to carry off when we’re hanging on [to the Rock of Ages] together.”

I love you, baby.

Nick