A Reconnection, Long Distance and Then a Death Bed Wedding

At one time, Michaela Elizabeth Cook and Jake Christopher Moyle were such close friends that he helped her choose her stage name as a singer, Micks. Even then, they would go on to lose touch for two years.

The two met as college students on March 15, 2014, at a little party at Mr. Moyle’s apartment in Brisbane, Australia. “We were drinking the cheapest things you can,” Ms. Cook said. “So we were drunker than we should be, and the evening had this euphoric feel.”

They exchanged social media handles and began spending time in friend groups over the next couple of months. “We were friends for a good three years,” Ms. Cook, 28, said.

But then Mr. Moyle moved about 1,110 miles away to Melbourne for a new job, and they didn’t speak for two years. “I was traveling a lot for my music,” she said. “We didn’t communicate at all.” Despite the radio silence, Mr. Moyle, 29, said he had feelings for Ms. Cook. “But I dove myself into work,” he said. “I focused on that quite heavily.”

In 2019, when Mr. Moyle found out that Ms. Cook was set to shoot a commercial in Melbourne, he sent her a message on Instagram.

The two met for dinner at Mamasita, a Mexican restaurant. “He memorably ordered a jug of margaritas,” Ms. Cook said. They instantly fell into a familiar rhythm. “Five or 10 minutes in, we picked up right where we left off,” Mr. Moyle said.

They have been inseparable ever since. “After our first date, time blurred in the best way,” Ms. Cook said. She would regularly travel to Melbourne to see him, staying for a week or two each time. Because of work, “it was quite difficult for me to travel,” Mr. Moyle said.

Their relationship remained long distance for a majority of the time from 2019 to 2021. “We juggled lockdowns and long state border closures, until Jake came to visit me while I was having my wisdom teeth removed in July 2021,” Ms. Cook said.

During that visit, the border between Brisbane, Queensland, and Melbourne, Victoria, closed again, and Mr. Moyle was unable to return home. “He still hasn’t been back,” Ms. Cook said. He moved in with her — a friend packed up his apartment and shipped his belongings. (The friend later served as best man.)

During Ms. Cook’s visits to see Mr. Moyle in Melbourne, they would travel across Victoria. “Michaela says I’m romantic — I say I’m selectively romantic,” Mr. Moyle said. “I think she expected a proposal was coming at the end of each mini trip.”

It was true. “You don’t take someone to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and not propose,” Ms. Cook said.

And yet she was surprised when it did happen. During a weekend getaway to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Gold Coast hinterland, they were staying in Room 22 on Feb. 22, 2022. “We were doing this trail walk to this lovely waterfall,” Mr. Moyle said. That’s when he proposed.

Ms. Cook was born in Cape Town and immigrated with her family to Brisbane at the age of 2. She is a country-pop singer and songwriter as well as a television presenter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Queensland.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

Mr. Moyle is a manager of strategy and transactions at Ernst & Young. He has a bachelor’s in finance from Queensland University of Technology and a master’s in sports science from Victoria University. He was born and raised in Brisbane.

The two began planning a wedding for Oct. 29. But their plans changed when Ms. Cook’s father, Leslie John Cook, was hospitalized after a fall on Oct. 5. “He never woke up from his induced coma,” Ms. Cook said.

On Oct. 10, inside the intensive care unit of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, the couple married at Mr. Cook’s bedside. The wedding was officiated by the Rev. Mark Vincent, a priest from St. Paul’s Anglican Church. “It was nice to give joy to a lot of other people around in the hospital,” Ms. Cook said.

Mr. Cook died on Oct. 11. He was 62.

Despite the devastating loss, their officiant also led another ceremonial service on Oct. 29 in front of 90 people in the great hall at Brisbane Grammar School, Mr. Moyle’s alma mater. “The location is sentimental to Jake,” Ms. Cook said.

Ms. Cook walked down the aisle with her mother to “Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift, a song she had originally picked for the father-daughter dance. Mr. Moyle surprised Ms. Cook by wearing a purple pocket square that her father had intended to wear.

They canceled the large reception they had planned. Instead, the venue allowed them a few hours outside the great hall “for a small catered drinks and snacks service,” Ms. Cook said, as well as the opportunity to take photos.

“I’m really glad we went ahead with this,” Ms. Cook said. Mr. Moyle added, “I’m so happy to see Michaela smiling.”

Sumber: www.nytimes.com