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    HomeLifestyleMonique Francis made the first move | Lifestyle

    Monique Francis made the first move | Lifestyle

    It was all fun and games for Monique Francis, who met the love of her life while visiting the office of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in Spanish Town. While she was the one who made the first move, it was Tommy James who secured their love and took it to the nuptial level by asking her to be his wife.

    The security guard was minding his own business when Monique entered the premises. Smitten by his handsome looks, she called out to him twice, and when he came running to her attention, she explained that she wanted to get to know him better. “He didn’t hesitate; he was like, ‘Of course!’ We exchanged numbers, and he went back to work,” a bold Monique told Island Wedding.

    But the carefree bachelorette wasn’t looking for anything serious. Tommy saw her as “young and energetic and smart, but I thought she was just another girl who wanted to have fun”.

    So they kept things casual, taking their initial interactions in the neighbourhood by going back and forth to visit each other in the respective communities. “We bonded while engaging in recreational activities like going fishing. We had a lot of movie nights with his family and my friend, Chrissan,” Monique said.

    As they grew familiar, they began yearning for more. The concept of dating entered the chat, and Tommy was pleased, noting, “We were around each other quite some time, so a bond was there, and trust, as they say.” The pair went to Morgan’s Fish Restaurant in Portmore, St Catherine, and Monique recalled it as being amazing, adding that it was her first time going to a restaurant, so she took great care in what she wore, hoping to score style points. “We decided to go [into] a relationship one month after we met. It went from having fun to growing to love each other,” she added.

    Describing her husband as loving, caring, protective, intelligent, adventurous and a certified charmer, she continues to marvel at how amazingly supportive he has been over the years. While she attended university in 2015, he saw to it that she got to school and back home, while working long shifts. “It was rough, but he is always there for me, rain or shine,” she said.

    Additionally, he ensured that she had home-cooked meals. Yes, he cooked for her daily, just so that she could have lunch for school, “We didn’t have any money to purchase cooked food at the time, but we made it work. He even assisted me with my student loan and my equipment for school. Out of nothing, he made it work, along with my parents’ help.”

    There were days when she thought about giving up, but Tommy stood by her side as one of her biggest cheerleaders, motivating her every step. He told her it would all be worth it in the end, and today, she is a proud midwife.

    Date nights were integral to their relationship, functioning as a neutral ground for discussion and problem-solving. “He is a more open person. I am the quiet one. If I have nothing to say, then I won’t. I didn’t like sharing my feelings, so we had to work on that. He shows affection, he communicates, he’s an active listener, and he always shows respect in the relationship. Although he is the head of the household, he always includes me in the decision-making. We are a team,” she said.

    Defining his wife as beautiful, smart, fabulous, caring and industrious, he continues to be mesmerised by her naturally enchanting aura. “She’s my heaven, my happy place, my world. She has opened up my eyes in regard to staying focused. She knows what she wants, and for that, I want to make sure she gets it. So I have to be the man for her; the man who can be there for her financially, as a protector, motivator and her happy place.”

    Revealing that she is a brainbox, she assists him with getting the necessary tools he needs for his trade. Being around her has completely changed his mindset for the better, since she keeps him focused and happy.

    “I knew she was the one when I realised none of my previous relationships added anything to my life. She goes the extra mile just to make me happy and to have a great time with the little we have. She baked me my first cake, has had birthday parties, cooked me a relationship anniversary dinner,” he highlighted.

    Tommy said Monique has always been there, even when he lost his job and nothing was going on for him. “We went fishing just to have dinner. She even followed me to chop wood to burn coal. That was a laugh; she was in her waterboots and had a machete and cap on. I was blown away by her commitment to the cause and to me.”

    So after seven years of dating, Tommy took his beloved to dinner with the plan to propose to her. But overcome with nerves, he got cold feet and instead, on their way back home in the car, he took out the ring, began professing his love for her and asked her to make him an even happier man by being his wife. An excited Monique said ‘yes’.

    The bride-to-be went into wedding planning mode with her mother to make the significant occasion magical. Friends also pitched in with advice, and she was truly grateful for that smooth process. When selecting the wedding dress, the midwife said yes to the mermaid tail dress from Unions Bridal Boutique. “I found the dress the first day that I went, but my mother said that it is ok to shop around, which I did. But I came right back to Union Bridal and got my dress.”

    On June 11, Monique and Tommy said ‘I do’ in a private wedding ceremony. The marrying duo opted to tie the knot at the Registrar General Department’s head office in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, before going on to have a non-traditional wedding reception at the AC Hotel by Marriott

    The newly-weds hold dear, happy memories of tying the knot.

    “The best moment for me was when he opened the car door and saw me…It was like he was mesmerised by my beauty. He was standing there looking at me for about two minutes, without saying anything, and shed a one tear. Throughout the ceremony, all you could see on his face was excitement, joy, love and happiness,” Monique shared. Tommy shared that sentiment, noting that she looked like a goddess. “I was blown away; she looked so beautiful. Another good moment for me was when she said, while taking the photos, ‘Husband, can you help me with the dress?’ I am still in awe.”

    krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com

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