Mike is a lawyer by trade and a poet and sailor at heart. He had planned to sail solo from Maryland to Nassau but while out at sea a mechanical failure required him to put into port for repairs. He sailed into Charleston for repairs, not knowing that while in Charleston he would meet the woman who would one day soon become his wife. Meeting Susan changed the direction of his sail and the direction of both of their lives.
Fast forward a bit and now Susan and Mike live in Raleigh and work together, sharing work and life duties while enjoying the love of both of their children. They even bought their home with their wedding in mind and what a perfect backdrop it was for the romantic and heartfelt ceremony they designed.
Piping the couple in and out of the ceremony was the incomparable bagpiper, Robert J. White. He and I have worked together for other weddings and I always enjoy his company. Because it is so important to him that his music be traditionally correct for the ceremony, I have learned a lot about Scottish traditions and his attention to detail always enhances the calibre of an event. Here’s a photo of him, taken after the ceremony, standing by the arbor where Susan and Mike were married.
The ceremony that Susan and Mike created was traditional, heartfelt and beautiful and included scripture readings from three of their children. Mike had written Susan a wonderful song as a wedding present and she and I both wanted him to sing it during the ceremony, but in the end he surprised her by recording it on a CD. He created an album cover for it and they made copies of it to give to the guests as thank-you gifts for being a part of their special day. I also received a CD and the song is so touching that I have added it to my iTunes playlist. Every time I hear it I will think of Susan and Mike and the glowing love coming out of their faces that day.
Another thing Mike did for Susan; he wrote a poem for her as a wedding gift. They printed it in the programs and it speaks so beautifully of the relationship they have together that I just have to include it here. So all you die-hard romantics and Hallmark card commercial softies, enjoy this sincere token of love from a groom to his bride.
“On Our Wedding Day”
He sailed for Nassau, a man alone,
But a Siren’s song he heard.
She called to him from Old Charles Town,
And his voyage was deterred.
Hull and heart did find repair,
Where the lovely Siren sang.
Enraptured by her beauty there,
He felt love’s old sweet pang.
Hold fast now, lads.
Let the rollers run.
Let the sea her treasures bear.
But of all the pearls beneath the waves,
There is none so fine or fair.
She takes her place now at his side,
On this, their wedding day.
The sea’s brightest jewel is a blushing bride,
And the captain is come home to stay.
_ Michael C. Hurley
Michael and Susan, may your sail through life be free of stormy seas and safe from the monsters of the deep. May you sail together into the sunset of your life, perfectly matched for the voyage ahead, the Captain and his Mate.
Update - 9/14/10 - Mike just sent me an email that he had included this blog post in his firm’s website on the “News” page, and when I went to check it out, I found he had included more information there about Susan and also a link to the “Lawyer’s Weekly” article about his 1000 mile, life-altering sailing trip from Annapolis, MD to Nassau, Bahamas. I also learned there that he is a highly respected author of poetry, so it is no wonder his wedding gifts to Susan were so amazing! (He had not mentioned before that he is a published author, humble man that he is.)
Update - 3-31-12 - Mike has a new book coming out soon and he sent me an advance copy. I’ve never had an advance copy of a book from an author before and I was SO pleased to get it. It is a memoir entitled, Once Upon a Gypsy Moon and he writes beautifully about his sailing, his growth as a man and his relationship with Susan. Every woman should be so lucky to share a special love like this! Kudos, Mike. It’s a beautiful book!