BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY
Special to the Birmingham Times
“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Barnett Wright email@example.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
CHARICE AND MAR’RY MOON
Live: Center Point
Married: May 23, 2017
Met: September 2015, at Mar’ry’s cousin’s home in Birmingham. Charice and her son, Nathaniel were new in town from Detroit, Michigan, and were invited over for a Labor Day gathering.
“My co-worker, [Theresa; Mar’ry’s cousin] invited me over to her home. I was still new to town, and me and my son [Nathaniel] didn’t have plans, and [my co-worker] invited us over because she said I needed to meet people… she also knew someone who would be great for me to talk to, but she never said he’d be there” Charice recalled. “And at the time, Mar’ry lived across the street from his cousin and I went over not knowing that [Theresa, my co-worker] had set me up. I thought I was having dinner with her and her family because I can’t cook.”
Mar’ry said, “my cousin told me she wanted me to come over and play cards because she was inviting one of her co-workers over to play. We never did get to the card table, we ended up eating, talking, and having a few drinks… and we didn’t exchange numbers that night either.”
For Charice, it was good that numbers weren’t exchanged because “I was closing out a relationship and I wanted to make sure I was done with that one before starting a new one, and a month later I asked my coworker [Theresa] about [Mar’ry] because she told me he was always asking about me. [Theresa] got him on the phone and we talked, he gave me his number, and I called him that night,” Charice said.
First date: A week later, at George Ward Park in Birmingham. Mar’ry met Charice and her son, Nathaniel, then 7.
“I told her that I needed to [connect with] her son because we couldn’t be in a real relationship unless me and her son got along. We talked and threw the football, and then we went down to [a local restaurant] to eat,” Mar’ry recalled.
“He did a lot of bonding with my son, and I was happy because my son wanted to play football, and we were new out here. I was almost in tears seeing him bond with another man outside of our family because he doesn’t easily take to people,” Charice said. “He can be very shy.”
The turn: For Charice, Thanksgiving 2015. “I wasn’t talking to anybody else, it was just the three of us, we were trying to build together… and he took time out for me and my son on Thanksgiving, and that was big because he made it a big deal for us. [Mar’ry] bought the food, he did all the cooking… My son had started talking to him about Thanksgiving before I did, and Mar’ry had told him that they would have fun… He and my son had a bond … he took on Mar’ry as a dad. He stepped in and made us a family, and I haven’t cooked a meal since we met,” Charice laughed.
For Mar’ry, taking over the cooking chores was an easy and simple decision. “When I came over and saw she made mashed potatoes and nothing else for dinner two days in a row I knew I had to step in. I said we gotta take this to the next level because that’s my little dude, I gotta be there for this boy,” Mar’ry laughed.
The proposal: May 23, 2017. “I was literally at work, it was a little bit after my mom had passed… I called her and said, ‘what you doing?’ and she said, ‘nothing, just at work’. And I said, ‘take off work right now and meet me down at the courthouse.’ And when she got there, I said, ‘would you do the honor of being my wife,’ and she said ‘yes, and we got married,’” Mar’ry said.
“My parents were in town for my sons’ [elementary graduation], and Mar’ry wanted my parents to be there [when we got married]… He had [recently lost] both of his parents” Charice said. “We got the paperwork at the courthouse and called around and found a pastor to marry us.”
The wedding: At a church on Roebuck Parkway that they can’t recall, officiated by its pastor, whose name they also can’t recall. Charice wore a sundress, and Mar’ry had on shorts, a t-shirt, and gym shoes. “Only my parents and niece and nephew were there,” Charice said.
Most memorable for the bride was ‘saying in my mind we’re actually doing this, you can’t talk it no more, you’re doing it.’ I was happy but I was scared out of my mind,” Charice said.
Most memorable for the groom was “looking into her scared eyes and rubbing her hand, and just smiling at her trying to talk her through it,” Mar’ry laughed.
Words of wisdom: “Besides communication, and sacrifice, you gotta give a little bit to take a little bit. Somethings you’re not going to like some things she’s not going to like, but you have to make sure the good outweighs the bad,” Mar’ry said. “It’s not always going to be peaches and cream, sometimes it’s tornadoes and earthquakes, but you can’t give up. If you give up quick and easy, getting married was a waste of time.”
“You have to listen to understand. You don’t have to agree with what they’re saying but you have to see where they’re coming from in order to build a bridge to connect. If you don’t communicate that can end your marriage,” Charice said. “Agree to disagree!”
Happily ever after: The Moons attend The Worship Center Christian Church, in Birmingham, and are a blended family with 6 children: Mar’ry, 22, their late son, Jaylin, Nathaniel, 15, Jama’ry, 15, and Jayden, 10.
Charice, 48, is a Detroit, Michigan native, Henry Ford High School grad [Detroit, Michigan], and attended Davenport University [Dearborn, Michigan] where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a minor in health services administration. She relocated to Birmingham in 2014 and works as a registration clerk at Children’s of Alabama.
Mar’ry, 42, is a Cordova, Alabama native, attended Cordova High School, and works as an equipment manager for Decker Truckline.