Steve Morgan and Shan Wilson dated for two or three years, on and off, when they were young.
"I tell him all the time that he broke my heart," she says. "He did. But there were never hard feelings. We just always had that friendship and respect for each other," Shan says.
The first time I saw my future spouse:
She says: “I noticed his gentleness. He has this way of making you feel when he’s talking with you that he’s listening. He’s the kind of guy you just want to keep talking to.”
He says: “I thought, ‘This lady is way out of my league.’”
On our wedding day:
She says: “He surprised me by reading a poem about how you make plans but God directs your steps. That was the sweetest thing ever. And he gave me a ring with a cross on it.”
He says: “It was a neat day because everybody was there. We were two individuals bringing two families together — and there they were.”
My advice for a long happy marriage:
She says: “Never marry someone you don’t have the most absolute admiration and respect for, and trust. You develop that over a long period of time.”
He says: “You’ve got to know who you are and be content with who you are, apart from that person.”
Shan was 19 when she first met Steve, who was 25, in church in 1980. Shan was born in Magnolia but her family had moved away before she was in high school and when she graduated she moved back.
Shan's cousin introduced her to Steve, and their first date was to the Columbia County Fair.
"It was just kind of one of those walk around dates," she says. "We didn't really go out on a lot of dates after that. I mean, we didn't go to the movies or go out to dinner. Most of what we did revolved around our church and friends."
They both loved music would gather around a piano and sing or cook meals together or play board games. They went to a Kenny Rogers concert in Shreveport once, and sometimes they went to his family's cabin near De Queen to play tennis, swim or gaze at the stars.
"I guess that was kind of boring, but we were easily entertained by each other," she says. "Our dates back then were about conversation, really."
But they were young and the time wasn't right for them to settle down.
"You know, you date someone for so long and then it's that you either break up or you get married," Steve says. "I think I was probably more hesitant to get married. I just worried -- I tended to overanalyze things, I think."
Steve and Shan broke up.
Shan went on to marry someone else, and a few years later Steve married, too.
They saw each other around their small town now and then.
"But our lives were totally different," she says.
Both divorced years later -- and years apart. After Steve's divorce, he was reeling from all the changes in his life. He was raising two step-grandchildren then, and trying to adjust to living on his own.
Shan had bought Magnolia Insurance Agency where she had worked for years, and she was busy helping it grow. He was running Warnock Furniture, which had been in his family for five generations.
Steve called Shan once, just to catch up. He remembers when they went to dinner at a restaurant on the Magnolia Square.
"It had windows on both sides. We both said, 'You could just feel people watching you,'" he says. "It's that awkwardness because people are afraid to say anything like, 'Oh, are y'all dating?'"
Their first priorities were to their children and grandchildren then, so their busy lives moved on.
Shan lived near Steve then, and they would go to each other's houses and watch movies or eat dinner occasionally.
"Once I got more comfortable with my life, I was like, 'OK, I'm ready to date.' You know, 'I can I can handle this,'" he says. "I remember bumping into her at church. She's just beautiful, and she's one of the sweetest, kindest, nicest people and we were standing there talking before church. I sat down and I thought, wow, this lady is beautiful, sweet, kind, and she likes me. I'd never planned on being divorced, you know, so that was new territory for me."
Shan was in Indiana for her sister's wedding when Steve called to ask her to go on a date with him, about a year after they had reconnected. Before long they were entwined in each other's family lives.
They had dated for more than five years when, after a family birthday dinner, Steve proposed.
"When you've got six kids between you and they're all hanging out together and the grandkids are there, you just don't have a lot of alone time," she says. "He somehow finagled it so just he and I came to his house after we went to eat."
Steve pulled out a watch box.
"I opened it up and there was a ring on the watch band," she says. "He got on his knee and just old-fashioned proposed and said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and asked me if I would marry him."
They exchanged their vows on June 17, 2013, on the beach in Perdido Key, Fla., with their families looking on.
"We honeymooned with 25 people," Steve jokes. "We went back to Florida a month later, just the two of us for an actual honeymoon."
Shan says she hadn't thought much about getting married.
"I thought, 'It doesn't matter what happens. I'm just going to be with this man for the rest of my life anyway,'" she says. "So it was kind of surreal that we were getting married. I never, ever thought that was coming. But that was fine -- life was so good anyway."
Steve says he's living his best life as her husband.
"I'm just blessed that she loves me," he says. "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loves me."
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Shan and Steve Morgan just celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary, but their history goes back more than 30 years. She has two children and he raised four stepchildren. “We like to say we just have this big, weird, wonderful family,” Steve says.
High Profile on 07/07/2019
Print Headline: Not ready to marry, they reconnected years later