Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Reunion at funeral eventually leads to marriage

Steve Almond and Shea Halling got married on Sand Key Beach on Boardwalk 8 in front of 25 people.

Courtesy of Steve and Shea Almond

Steve Almond and Shea Halling got married on Sand Key Beach on Boardwalk 8 in front of 25 people.

For nearly 20 years, Steve Almond suppressed the feelings he had for his best friend's wife, Shea. It was clearly written in universal guy code: Never mack on your buddy's wife.

He couldn't, he wouldn't do that to David Mason, Shea's husband.

Then David and his wife moved away, and Steve lost touch with her for 17 years.

During that time, the couple had two children and got divorced. Shea married again, to another man also named David, had two more children and divorced again.

Then David Mason died.

The first time Steve saw Shea Halling again was at David's funeral. Phone numbers were exchanged; warm feelings came back.

A few months later, Steve confessed everything to Shea at a friend's party.

"Are you kidding?" Shea asked. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"

He explained why.

In August 2010, Shea and Steve began dating. They never really thought of marrying again, since he had also given it a shot — three shots, to be exact — and none worked out as planned. But beautiful fruit was born from it. He had a daughter.

"We were both really sour on marriage," Shea, now 40, said.

The next month, Steve sold his house outside of Rochester, N.Y., and moved down to the Clearwater area where she was living.

"I sold my place, jumped on my Harley and rode down in Hurricane Earl," Steve, now 46, recalls.

Shea's first time on his Harley Sportster was somewhat of a nightmare. She hopped on the back of it and took off to the grocery store, gripping the sissybar the whole time. She was pretty sure she would die, but on the way back home, she realized she loved to ride.

Almost two years later, Steve tapped Shea on the shoulder as she was scrubbing dishes. It was Valentine's Day. He had just gotten home from work — with a ring. He asked her to marry him; totally shocked, she said yes.

"I think both of us felt a little guilty because he was David's best friend," Shea said. So to reconcile their remorse, they flew to New York to visit David's grave.

Shea told David that he brought her great love, brought her and Steve together. She thanked him for that. Steve said a few words, too.

As he finished, a group of crows flew by the grave. Shea knew what that meant, since her brother-in-law is Lakota Sioux. In the tribe's tradition, the crow carries the deceased's spirit and lets the living know all is well.

They felt that was David sending his stamp of approval. They could finally find peace.

On June 16, 2012, the couple married on Sand Key Beach on Boardwalk 8 in front of a group of 25. Shea wore an ethereal chiffon gown with a beaded bodice. She carried a bouquet of red and white flowers. They said, "I do."

"This has been a long time coming," Shea said. "But I think we needed to go through the things that we did to get to where we are now."

Sabrina Rocco can be reached at srocco@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8862.

Reunion at funeral eventually leads to marriage 09/08/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 8, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.