My grandmother, Nonie, called Jordan “handsome,” both because she thought he was good looking and because she couldn’t remember his name. She was 99 years old.
It’s possible that one of the reasons she lived so long is because she wanted to make sure I found a man who would take care of me. She worried when the single women in her family were pushing past their marrying or childbearing age. So when I brought Jordan home, she was relieved. Not just because I met someone, but because I met the right one.
While I was never the type of girl to dream about flowers and dresses, there were two things I always wanted at my wedding: I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle and I wanted Nonie to be in the front row.
She started setting goals when she turned 80, saying, “I don’t want to be an old lady but I’ll give you till 85.” Then it was until 90, then 95. When I got engaged she started saying, “I just want to make it until Michelle’s wedding.”
She held strong, always asking what day it was, then calculating how many more days until my wedding day. I got married on October 19, 2012 and she was there. On the way from Troy to the Finger Lakes (about 3 hours), she asked my aunt if they were driving to Italy, but she made it.
The thing about marrying the right guy, after all the other not-right-for-you boyfriends, is that your family actually approves. I wasn’t the only one who knew Jordan was right; Nonie knew he was “the one” for me.
His green eyes and 5 o’clock shadow didn’t hurt. Even at 99, Nonie was a flirt. But she was also a great judge of character, and she could tell his smile was sincere. That said, her fondness for male vocals might have swayed her vote.
Nonie passed away on December 4, 2013. I am forever grateful, not only that she got to meet my husband, but that he had the privilege of knowing her.