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Gander man starts fundraiser in honour of late wife

Garrett and Nicole Langdon on their wedding day in 2013. Photo courtesy Garrett Langdon
Garrett and Nicole Langdon on their wedding day in 2013. Photo courtesy Garrett Langdon - Contributed

They met at a Tim Hortons in their hometown of Gander.

Garrett Langdon, along with his three children, at the grave of his late wife, Nicole, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Photo courtesy Garrett Langdon
Garrett Langdon, along with his three children, at the grave of his late wife, Nicole, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Photo courtesy Garrett Langdon

It was a summer Sunday evening in 2012 and he was there with his parents. She was supposed to meet his brother and his wife there.

He was 23 and she was 19.

She walked through the doors of that coffee shop and that is when Garrett Langdon met Nicole.

Their relationship started that August.

Their first date included taking in the home opener for the Gander Flyers. She loved the stadium fries and he preferred watching hockey live to television.

He called her Nicky Love and she kissed him first.

On Dec. 21 of that year, Garrett and Nicole were engaged. On June 21, 2013, their short engagement ended with marriage.

“We both knew what we wanted,” said Garrett. “We knew right away.”

Nicole died suddenly on March 21.

She went to bed the previous evening but didn’t wake up the next morning. Garrett said the cause of her death is still pending.

“I’m doing alright,” he said of his well-being. “I don’t suppose I’ll ever be doing great. I will always have the loss of my bride.”

To help get his family through this difficult period financially, Garrett started a GoFundMe fundraiser on May 5.

As of May 14, the effort has raised just over $2,055 of the $15,000 that was set as the goal.

The money that doesn’t go to help ease debt will be secured for Garrett’s three children.

Nicole and Garrett had three children together — Elvis, 6, Klairissa, 2, and Zacchaeus, 1 — and their seventh wedding anniversary was fast approaching.

The children were each born in the spring of the year. Since the death of their mother, they’ve each had birthdays.

“Nicole loved her children unconditionally,” said her sister, Joanne Parsons. “She was an amazing person and an awesome mom.”

Joanne is Nicole’s older sister by seven years. As their relationship grew, the older sibling came to admire the younger one.

She came to admire Nicole’s strong moral compass.

In time, Joanne worried about Nicole learning she did something wrong more than she feared her mother learning of it.

“The world is not going to be the same (without her),” Joanne said of her sister. “She taught me many things.”

On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, Garrett visited Nicole’s grave with their children. The forecast wasn’t great for the next day and they wanted to put flowers down.

The next day, they returned to visit. This time the children stayed in the car while Garrett visited with Nicole.

“I expect June 21 to be really hard on me,” he said of their upcoming anniversary.

In the weeks that followed the death of his bride — the word he uses instead of wife as a way to reaffirm his love for her always — Garrett has been leaning on family and his faith to prop him up.

He reads Philippians Chapter 4, Verse 7 daily and when he needs help.

“My strength comes from the Lord,” he said. “It does not come from myself. Without the peace they spoke about in Philippians, I could not do this on my own.”

Nicky and Garrett seemed destined to meet. She was contemplating heading to Alberta and he had decided to stay in the province to finish school instead of going to Alberta.

If either of them had made a different decision, their paths wouldn't have converged in that Tim Hortons.

A passage written on the fundraiser’s page reflects Garrett’s love for his late wife.

It reads, "Almost 7 years … 70 years still wouldn’t be enough time going through time with your best friend."

“We were each other’s best friend and each other’s hero,” he said.

Nicholas Mercer is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Central Newfoundland for Saltwire Network

nicholas.mercer@thecentralvoice.ca

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