WHAT started out as friendship between two co-workers later blossomed into a beautiful union for Patrice Spence-Neish and her husband Derval.
The couple’s love story began in 2018 at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay where Patrice works as a hostess and Derval, a waiter.
Months after becoming friends, tragedy struck Derval’s family. Patrice, being a compassionate woman, stepped in to offer her support and their bond grew from there.
“He lived with his mother and daughter, but his mother got sick. We got a bit closer during that time,” she tells the Jamaica Observer’s LetsTravelCaribbean.com.
Patrice continues, “After his mother passed away we grew closer because I was there for him during his time of grief, and we continued from there. We started hanging out more and we would go places together, so the relationship developed.”
Patrice’s father also became ill shortly after. The new couple’s love and devotion were put to the test once more.
“He was diabetic. Derval started coming to the house because I took care of my dad, and he was there to help me until he passed as well. He would bathe, clean, and feed him. Then he would sit there and talk to him. He really took care of my dad,” she says lovingly of the man she now calls husband.
Not only was she blown away by the love he showed her ailing dad, but the overall adoration and support Derval willingly gave ignited a flame inside Patrice’s heart.
“As a woman, when I saw how he treated my children, my dad, and most importantly how he treats me, it wasn’t hard to fall in love with him,” she tells LetsTravelCaribbean.com.
“It was something that I didn’t expect because I have dated other people before, but he is on a different level. He turned out different. He is a family man, a husband, a handyman — he is just everything,” she adds.
Similarly for Derval, it was Patrice’s support and friendship in his time of grief that made him realise that “she is the one” with whom he wants to navigate life’s challenges.
“It was just several months into knowing her when, unfortunately, I had a situation where I lost my mom. We were only friends then but we were getting close, and just knowing that I had someone by my side to help me navigate through the process helped a lot,” Derval shares.
Their love now knows no bounds, Patrice tells LetsTravelCaribbean.com.
“My husband is the full package,” she says.
“He usually does the day shift and I do the late evening shift because I have to monitor the restaurant at night. I always come home to dinner, and he stays up waiting for me because he won’t eat until I get home,” the proud wife adds.
“He doesn’t wait for birthdays or holidays to shower me with love and affection. He will randomly get up and say, ‘I’m going to cook you something special today.’ I am actually starting to have a big tummy because of it,” she jokingly says.
Like their love for each other, their family has also grown.
“We now have a little boy together. Derval has a daughter from a past relationship and I have two other sons as well, so we have four children,” Patrice shares.
As the couple’s first wedding anniversary approaches, Derval sings one tune.
“If I had the opportunity to do this all over again, there is nothing I would change. I think of this as a blessing and an upgrade,” he tells LetsTravelCaribbean.com.