Couple rearranges wedding to accommodate 92-year-old mom who’s in a nursing home

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – During better times, Mick McGovern and his soon-to-be wife Susan Nestell spent a lot of time with his mother, Estelle. She lives at Linn Health & Rehabilitation in East Providence.

“It’s very unfortunate to be in a nursing home, [to] be blind, especially now when we can’t visit. It’s sad we just can’t be with her,” McGovern said.

No visitors are allowed at the nursing home where she lives, so Mick and Susan keep in touch with Estelle over the phone. And Estelle never lets him forget one thing in particular.

“She lets us know whether we say anything or not, ‘You know I found her’. We know mom, we know you found Susan for me.” McGovern said.

Susan looked after Estelle as a CNA at Linn Health. But Estelle was playing cupid. Until one day, they finally met – and now, they’re engaged.

“The first time I saw her face, I was awestruck. She says she was too.” McGovern said.

The couple was ready to wed at a big wedding this December. But like so many others, coronavirus changed their plans.

“You know, I don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. Nobody does. And if something were to happen, I wanted to make sure that I protected her and provided for her as best as possible.” McGovern said.

So they moved their wedding up 8 months. And to keep up with social distancing guidelines, they ditched their original venue, choosing instead to get married in the gardens right outside the nursing home, so that Estelle can be there.

“She’s 92. She’s a tough girl but, there’s no saying. And she deserved to see us get married.” McGovern said.

So Estelle, through the window of her nursing home, will be listening over a Bluetooth speaker to her son’s wedding ceremony.

“The reverend wants to do zoom. So it’s Susan and I, her daughters are going to stand for her and son is going to stand for me. So that’s the five.” McGovern said.

It’s not the wedding the couple had pictured, but they said it doesn’t matter.

“As long as I’m marrying my sweetheart, that’s all that’s important.” Nestell said.

Theirs is a refreshing love story amid a global pandemic, and proof that mom always knows best.

“If you ask mom this, God didn’t find Susan, mom found Susan.” McGovern said.

The couple is getting married Saturday.


©WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: News, Rhode Island