Friday, May 2, 2014

Veritas: Michael and Nicole

{real life love}

Maybe you, like me, have heard stories of newlyweds sprinting through St. Peter's square to get a coveted spot up front for a papal marriage blessing at the Pope's weekly audience (Exhibit A).  But how many couples can say their first meeting was in front of a Pope?  Michael and Nicole met during Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to the U.S. almost 6 years ago, and are getting married in October.  As a fellow wife of an Arab, I can say I'm so excited for them!

Nicole is the author of an awesome book introducing children to the Theology of the Body called Forever You: A Book About Your Soul and Body, and she has a new book in the works!  Check it out, and Like her author page on Facebook here.


His Story:

Hayete, where have you been all my life?  Nicole's my hayete and how appropriate a name for her…a name that in Arabic means, "my life."

Little did I know that this beautiful girl I met on the bus on the way to see the Pope would be my fiancee and future bride! I remember sitting on the bus, locking my gaze on her beautiful eyes and thinking to myself, "I have got to meet her!"

On our first date I remember taking Nicole to watch Caramel, a Lebanese romantic comedy and ending the night over tea, coffee and wonderful conversation at Andala Cafe in Cambridge. Unfortunately, a few weeks later Nicole moved to Florida and I was left like a wandering nomad--never feeling deeply happy again until years later when she moved back to Boston and we finally reconnected. It was in those years of patiently waiting where the Lord prepared me for the blessings to come. And now, I have never been happier in my life!

My heart beams with love every time I look upon Nicole's beautiful face and gaze into her God-loving heart. You know it's right when you feel peace. You know it's right when you smile thinking of the one you love. You know it's right when you hear the Spirit of Truth confirming everything you were praying for with the One in your arms.  And I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my hayete


Her Story:

Michael and I were on the same bus travelling to New York for a Papal Mass with Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008. I don't remember seeing Michael on the bus, but he saw me!  I do, however, remember that during registration, I liked his last name (who knew it would be MINE someday?).

Michael and I went on a few dates shortly after meeting. I remember us having wonderful conversation and staying up very late chatting in his car. Yet, after only two dates, I moved back to Florida. We stayed in touch as friends through phone and email for the next five years. After my recent move back to Boston, I called Michael in February 2013 with a business-related question, never imagining the true love that was about to hit us. 

After a few weeks of reconnecting as friends, we both knew we were being called into a relationship. We couldn't ignore such a great sense of peace, joy, happiness and contentment. After we prayed and discerned a relationship, Michael asked my father and mother to date me. With their blessing, our love story began! 

I love all of Michael. I love his heart for God. I love his servant spirit. I love his patience and his devotion to his family. I love his compassion for others. I love his generous spirit. I love his understanding nature. I love his dedication to those he loves. I love his depth of character. I could go on and on, but instead, I will share with you one of my favorite snapshots of our time together, which gives perfect insight into his heart. 

For three days, Michael slept at my grandmother's apartment, which is located one floor below my apartment, to care for me while I lay in bed incapacitated from a bad cold. He cooked us breakfast, lunch and dinner, cleaned up after every meal, and made sure I was hydrated and medicated. He told me how beautiful I looked--which I couldn't believe as I lay there sick and unattractive--and made me feel incredibly loved! He was humble and joyful the entire time. He sat with my grandmother every morning, sometimes for up to an hour, just to keep her company because she lives alone. When I thanked him for his help, his response was, "I serve you in service to God. I do it because I love you."

I can't wait to start my life with a man who is gentle and a gentleman, lets me be who I am, is kind to me, supports my passion for writing children's books, is thoughtful and  makes me feel good about myself, and makes me feel happy and loved. 

He was SO worth the wait!

Their Proposal, as told by Nicole:

After Michael asked my parents for permission to marry me, the proposal day was set in his calendar as Sunday, December 15, 2013. But, God had His own schedule! 

Michael's original plan was to take me out to dinner and a carriage ride in Boston, followed by a trip to my apartment, where he would show me the below video and propose. Instead, I injured by back shortly before the proposal night and couldn't make the trip into Boston. We were also expecting snow that day! 

After a last-minute burst of inspiration, Michael called me the morning of December 14, 2013 asking to take me out for a surprise that night. I got myself out of bed for the first time in a week since my injury and off we went. And that snowstorm? It started just a few hours later. 

Michael drove us to the LaSallete Shrine's Festival of Lights. While there, we were invited to attend Holy Mass where the priest's homily just happened to be on the topic of peace. After Mass, Michael asked me, "what is your favorite part of the park?" I told him how much I loved the Peace on Earth sign. He wheeled me up a hill and proposed to me in front of that beautiful Peace on Earth sign, all while hundreds of snowflakes fell on our faces. 

After the proposal, we went into the lobby where we were given 2 miraculous medals by a Sister of Mercy and had the medals and our engagement blessed by 3 priests! This all happened while I was in a wheelchair (although I did stand up for the big moment!). After the proposal, we went back to my parent's house, where we toasted with my family and watched the below video montage of our memories from 2013. I bawled my eyes out! We eventually did go out to dinner in Boston to celebrate our engagement and the lovely staff at No. 9 Park had some fun dessert plates ready for us, because the re-schedule date also happened to be our 6-month anniversary! 

We've decided our marriage motto will be, "Peace on Earth." 

Join me in praying for these two as their wedding day approaches!  Want to see your love story on Captive the Heart (you don't have to be a blogger!)?  Email me at stephanie.captivetheheart@gmail.com.





2 comments:

  1. Excited about checking out Nicole's book on Theology of the Body for kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I appreciate your interest. :) My website is www.NicoleLataif.com ... God bless! :)

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