When the time is right

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Regina and Bruce Patterson met later in life and after a whirlwind romance they tied the knot in June 2012. Photos submitted

Regina Patterson of Greenville has always dreamed of being a bride. She watched her siblings and friends get married and start their families, but began to believe that maybe she wasn’t going to meet the right man.

“You know, I had my circle of friends and they all seemed married and I was the only single,” Patterson said. “For a long time, I was not happy with my life because I was single.”

After asking Bruce Patterson if he was interested in meeting someone, Pastor Tommy Turner Jr. of Jesus Non-Denominational Church urged him to ask Regina on a date.

One thing that was steadfast in Patterson’s life was and still is his faith. She regularly attends church and has spoken often with her pastor and wife and this included bemoaning her status as a single woman. It was during one of these conversations that she gained a nugget of wisdom that she took to heart. She was advised to learn to be content with her own life and in that contentment she would see changes taking place in her life. She prayed to accept and be content with life.

Eventually Patterson moved to a new church in Greenville, Jesus Non-Denominational Church. It was then that changes began to take shape in his life, albeit unexpectedly.

While attending a Wednesday night service with her mother, Patterson said her mother nudged her and whispered to her that the man serving as usher that night would be her future son-in-law. Patterson laughed at this bold statement. She said the man looked unlike her type and appeared to be a lot younger than her.

Sometimes a mother’s wisdom can be hard to put into words and explain. That night seemed to set things in motion. The pastor had at one point approached the bailiff, Bruce, if he had any interest in getting to know anyone. Bruce was a young widower whose wife had succumbed to the disease. They had been married for 25 years.

Bruce and Regina were regularly attending Sunday and Wednesday services at their church when Bruce found the courage to sit next to Regina. It was the following Sunday, that fateful Wednesday, that Bruce took Regina’s hand and asked her if she would like to go on a date. It was in September 2011 that Regina went on her first date with the tattooed long haired usher named Bruce. The two managed to keep things a secret from his mother, but only for a month and not without any good-humored teasing from the pastor.

Maybe because of their maturity or an answer to prayers, but the couple had a whirlwind little romance and Bruce proposed to Regina over Thanksgiving weekend. He took her to Huch’s Jewelry in downtown Greenville and they picked out their rings. It was also not a question that Regina’s mother was going to design and make her wedding dress.

Because she was over 50 years old dreaming of her wedding, Regina had planned everything down to the last detail. Their pastor donated the church for the ceremony and reception and he also celebrated the nuptials for longtime parishioners. A bridesmaid’s daughter played the piano, and another bridesmaid set the bridal table with her grandmother’s beloved porcelain.

Regina’s family were delighted to see her walking down the aisle. Unfortunately, his father had passed away before he had the chance to accompany him on this walk, so his uncle had that honor. She even enjoyed the traditional father-daughter dance with her uncle. Her good friend made a full menu and baked the wedding cake. Regina said it was the perfect day and everything went well.

This June will mark Regina and Bruce’s ninth wedding anniversary. When asked what advice she could offer other women who feel lonely and like their lives aren’t over, she explained what gave her comfort and hope on her journey.

“I would learn to be content with what your life is now,” Regina said. “Just be happy and content. My friend said she wouldn’t get married because she had a disagreement. I told her she had to learn to accept not to agree. You can’t let disagreement break a relationship. “

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