The coronavirus crisis has forced many people to stay apart but for one newly married Michiana couple, the pandemic has had an unexpected perk. It's a modern day love story in the age of coronavirus.
Liz Jackson and Alex Withorn met at the South Bend Cubs Stadium about three years ago. Liz was a grad student at Notre Dame and Alex worked for the Cubs. After a few months of dating, Alex got a job in Lansing, Michigan for the Lansing Lugnuts. So they had to adjust to a long-distance relationship, something Liz wasn’t thrilled about.
But then Liz moved to work at a school in Australia and their long-distance relationship became...more distant. But they made it work and Alex proposed to Liz in November.
“Our original plan was for [Alex] to come to Australia and we were going to get married in Australia,” Liz says.
But during the wedding planning, the coronavirus was declared a pandemic and life started to change quickly. Liz flew to the U.S. right away because she needed to get some documents sorted and planned to fly back, but in the matter of a week, Australia closed its borders to non-citizens...so Liz is stuck in Michigan. But that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for a couple who has been doing long-distance for several years.
“I think in some ways it’s been good for our relationship," Liz says. "We thought we were going to have to be apart a lot more this year, but because of various natural disasters, I’ve been back a lot more than I expected.”
Liz and Alex decided to still get married, so last week they went to a courthouse in Lansing. Instead of a wedding dress and tux, they wore face masks, sat in the car, and signed the marriage certificate. Inside the car, they shared the quiet moment together. But then they got on a zoom call afterwards to share the moment with their family.
Liz’s dad is a minister and held a comical version of a wedding ceremony during the call.
Nothing turned out as planned for this couple, but Alex says that’s more than okay.
“Everything doesn’t have to go perfectly, or as you planned in order for it to work out okay," he says. "There’s no need to stress about things not working out like you thought.”
Liz and Alex are hoping to have an in-person reception in August to celebrate their marriage, one in Michigan where Alex is from and one in Kansas where Liz is from. But if large gatherings still aren’t safe by then, there’s no doubt this unconventional couple will be able to roll with the punches.
If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating at: https://wvpe.thankyou4caring.org/