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‘That’d Be a Good Wife For You … There’s Something About Her’

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Lameka and Derrick Fisher met in high school in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and married in 2003. (PROVIDED)

BY KEISA SHARPE-JEFFERSON | The Birmingham Times

LAMEKA AND DERRICK FISHER

Live: Margaret, AL

Married: Aug. 23, 2003

Met: Lameka and Derrick “first met in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in high school at an event known as Junior Leadership, sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce in 1995,” said Lameka. Both were sophomores in high school. Derrick attended Vicksburg High School and Lameka attended Warren Central High School. Derrick knew he had to make his move when he first saw her. “She was real quiet and shy and I said to myself, ‘That girl is kinda cute. I’m going to go and talk a little noise to her.’”

Her reaction was less than promising initially, remembered Derrick. “She was ignoring me. That’s how the first time went,” he said laughing.  Lameka, admittedly a woman of few words, said her first impression of Derrick was very pleasant, even though she didn’t say much to him. “I thought to myself, ‘He’s friendly and doesn’t meet any strangers,” she said. But not one to be deterred, Derrick’s persistence eventually paid off and their paths crossed again while in high school. While they’ve known each other for well over 30 years it feels as though they were connected even longer.

“I actually looked back at one of my scrapbooks and we were in a piano recital together in 3rd grade, but we didn’t know each other,” said Lameka. “We had the same piano teacher.

First date: A few months after their first chance meeting at Junior Leadership they went on a first date which, according to Lameka, was a meal at Red Lobster in Vicksburg and then they went to a movie afterward. Both enjoyed their meal and time together, but Derrick ended up with chicken pox the day after their first date.

After that they were together pretty much from then on.

But while dating, both prioritized their education and went on to graduate from their respective high schools and enrolled in college. Lameka graduated in 1997 and went on to attend Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and then “transferred to Ole Miss (graduated in 2001 with a psychology degree and went to Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas (on the outskirts of Houston. Derrick graduated high school in 1997 and went on to attend Jackson State University (JSU) in Jackson, Mississippi.

The turn: “I loved her compassion,” said Derrick. But that was not the only sign that led him to propose. “My father, when I was 16, he met Lameka …. and before he died, he said, ‘I like that girl.’”

Time nor distance could stop their blooming relationship. While Lameka continued her education in another state, Derrick was finishing up his college education in Jackson, MS. “I think when I went off to chiropractic school (in Texas), after dating a few years, is when we realized the next step would be marriage,” said Lameka.

Derrick said his father helped him seal the deal. “My dad said she (Lameka) was sweet a girl. He was dying of cancer then and he said, ‘That’d be a good wife for you … There’s something about her. That really kind of help me escalate that (proposal).”

The proposal: 2001. While attending Jackson State, Derrick drove to Houston while Lameka was in chiropractor school. He was in his senior year in college.

Lameka said she knew the proposal was coming. She just didn’t know how and when. But an evening dinner at Harrah’s Casino Gulf Coast, in Biloxi, would change her life.

“I was expecting it, but I thought it was going to be for Christmas,” she said. Derrick went down on one knee and asked for Lameka’s hand in marriage on Dec. 23, 2001.

They were joined by a few of their friends. “I was wondering why so many people kept staring at us (at Harrah’s),” Lameka added laughing.

And Derrick’s plan didn’t end there; part two of the celebration continued as he “had an engagement party after the dinner at his house.”

Their engagement lasted over a year and a half while both completed their studies “because I had to finish,” said Derrick, who was under the watchful eye of his mother as he completed school at Jackson State. And as student in chiropractor school, Lameka had to remain focused because “I had lots of classes,” she said.

Derrick graduated in 2002 in mass communications and went back to work in Vicksburg.

The wedding: 2003. The couple had a large wedding at Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church in their hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

They had eight bridesmaids, a maid and matron of honor and eight groomsmen and two best men. Their colors were purple, yellow and silver. The reception was at the city auditorium.

“My dad walked me down the aisle,” said Lameka. “Most memorable for me at the wedding was actually seeing my husband cry as I walked down the aisle,” she said.

Derrick recalls not only being captivated by his beautiful bride, but cherished “my vows as the most memorable part of our wedding.”

“We got married … and I moved to Houston (while Lameka finished up chiropractor school),” said Derrick.

Then, they moved to Birmingham in April 2006 as Lameka received a job offer. The Magic City has been home ever since – for 17 years and counting.

Words of wisdom: Marriage is most successful when “working together and being compassionate – being able to support each other in ups and downs,” Derrick said.

He added, “when you find that person that really has your corner when you’re down or when you’re up or you’re at your lowest, that’s what it’s really about … It’s cool when everybody’s up or when we got money, we do what we wanna do. But what’s really going to happen when money’s not flowing? Are you going to be there with that love and support each other through the good and the bad,” said Derrick.

For anyone going through a rough patch in their marriage, Derrick said “… don’t give up so easy. We wouldn’t still be together if we gave up easily.”

Lameka, admittedly an introvert and a woman of few words, simply added “a true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.”

Happily ever after: The Fishers celebrated 20 years of marriage in 2023 “through the joys and the pain and the sunshine and the rain,” said Derrick. They have a son Kameron was born in October 2013, ten years after they were married.

Both Derrick and Lameka are Vicksburg, Mississippi, natives. They currently live in Margaret, Alabama.

He graduated from “Jackson State University, in Jackson, Mississippi, ‘Thee I love,’ ” said Derrick citing the school’s famed expression and works as a banker.

Lameka completed undergraduate studies at Ole Miss, in Oxford, Mississippi, then completed studies at Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas. She operates Fisher Chiropractic in the Trussville community.

 “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 bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

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