On Finding Love: Nick & Angie
When you were single, what was dating like for you? Did you have any hesitations or challenges in dating specifically related to having Morquio? How did you navigate these challenges?
Dating was pretty much nonexistent for me. I didn’t have any hesitations, I would call them high hopes, LOL. By the time I was 22 years old, I had had two girlfriends, if you want to call it that, and I had literally told God one night that I was ready to live my life alone and stop looking because it hurt so much. Literally, the next week I met Angie.
How did you and Angie meet, and what led you to begin dating?
We met in an AOL chat room for a city we both frequented to go out to party and eat. We were friends, starting in May, before we began dating. Angie had a recent separation and a one-year-old daughter at the time. We met in person for the first time at a Benningan’s restaurant on Halloween. We had a “lunch date” and were both so nervous that we picked at our food during the whole lunch. Afterwards, we left in different vehicles (I was driving from Louisiana to Alabama for a weekend of shows with the band I was in), and I texted Angie and told her that it was okay if she decided not to see me again. I guess it was my way of telling her that I didn’t want her to feel obligated to date me out of pity and this was my way of giving her a chance to walk away, still friends. She responded that I was “crazy” and there was no way she was walking away.
Did Morquio have an impact on your relationship while you were dating? If so, how did you navigate that as a couple?
We have always been, and continue to be, the topic of conversation (whispers and pointing) when we are out in public. She knew that if ever we were approached, that all bets were off on how I would react – I can’t even explain what my behavior would have been in a public post like this one. Morquio and Cajun is a recipe for disaster, LOL.
I don’t think there were any challenges that we faced as a couple, but because they were my challenges, they became hers. We loved hard and with all we had, so we shared every win and every loss when it came to Morquio. We would like to think we had 100% positivity from our family and friends, but looking back, I personally can tell that, while the people in question might not have wanted us to fail as a couple, they were still waiting for it because they strongly believed it would happen.
When did you fall in love with each other, and how did you know you wanted to get married?
Nick: I fell in love with Angie fast. Probably a month after we started dating, I had the “L” word flying. She was probably a week or so behind (you know she likes for me to wait, even these days, LOL). I knew I definitely didn’t want to date again, and I was in love. I proposed two years after we began dating, on Thanksgiving Eve, and even went all out with a limo and date at a fancy restaurant. I was sick to my stomach the entire day because of my nerves.
Angie: I remember the day Nick proposed. He called me at work and told me that one of his coworkers had won tickets on the radio to a fancy dinner that night but couldn’t make it. He asked if I thought my mom would watch Alayna (our daughter), and at first I was like ‘no’ because I like to have things planned and didn’t really go for the spur of the moment plans that Nick was famous for. But I asked my mom (who already knew what was going on!), and of course she said yes. Nick picked me up in a limo at my apartment, and even then, I was clueless as to what was going on. Then he played our song, “Heaven” by DJ Sammy and I wasn’t so clueless anymore!
Since you have been married, what challenges have you faced as a couple related to Morquio, and how do you deal with these challenges together?
I would say I’m not a good example of someone whose life has been negatively affected by Morquio. I say this because myself, Angie and our kids, have been able to visit many places that would never have been possible without Morquio. I got to take part in a Natural History Study that will help Morquios in the future, and that was always a dream of mine, to help others, and it helped me bring my family to see places we’ve only dreamed of. I also was able to give a few motivational speeches, which also was a childhood dream and allowed me to travel more with my family. The challenges would have to be for Angie, to convince me when I need to set up yearly exams, which I despise because there is no physician specializing in care for adults with Morquio, and I hated doctor appointments by the time I was twelve – but that’s the only downfall in our relationship.
What personality traits or character qualities do you each have that are important to making your relationship work?
Our most important thing to keep our relationship working is honesty and trust. Communication was something that Angie had to learn, because of the way she was raised, but I had patience. We now can talk to each other about anything, whether it’s good or bad, and laugh about it the following day. I think that we also balance each other out in social settings, because Angie is quiet and shy and I am very outgoing and personable.
Do you have any dating or marriage advice for others related to what you’ve learned from your own journey as a couple?
Love with everything inside of you, seize every moment you are given together, and don’t let little bumps in the road keep you off course.