If you had asked Ohio woman Lorrie Agan to picture this scene in the wake of her bitter, contentious divorce in 2014, she would have told you it was unimaginable. But here she was, just four years along the line, walking down the aisle once more. Not only that, but the last person in the world that she could have ever expected to see there was also in attendance: her former husband, Jeffrey. Somehow, it had turned out that Lorrie’s first groom was utterly delighted to be at her second wedding.
In the years before the massive joy of that big day in April 2018, though, Lorrie’s life had looked very different. It had been 1989, after all, when Lorrie said, “I do” to Jeffrey at a local electronics outlet. Yes, you read that right: the young couple had been unable to afford a conventional wedding venue, so they got married in a made-over shop instead.
As they got into the swing of things, though, the evidently resourceful Agan family of two would eventually grow to become a family of ten. Yes, Lorrie and Jeffrey managed to welcome no fewer than eight children over the course of their marriage: six boys and two girls. Each new addition surely brought the Agans great happiness, but nevertheless, with everything taken into account, Mom and Dad’s union was not a blissful one.
Apparently, the couple actually spent their married years arguing and bickering. And by the end of their marriage, Lorrie later claimed to CBS Evening News, she and Jeff were no longer a good fit for each other. She admitted in May 2018, “The fighting, what the kids were witnessing. I just didn’t want it in our lives anymore.”
Unsurprisingly, then, Lorrie and Jeffrey finally divorced in 2014, calling it quits on a quarter century of married life. Everyone in the Agan clan was devastated, according to 21-year-old son, Jeffrey Jr. In May 2018 he even told BuzzFeed, “They fought, separated, divorced, and it tore the family apart.”
Jeffrey Jr. continued, “Each of us [children] felt like we had to cope with the destruction in different ways, and on our own.” Those self-help sentiments also struck the parents. Reportedly, in the aftermath of their divorce, Lorrie and Jeffery each looked inwards for ways in which they could improve themselves.
For Lorrie, the immediate concern following the divorce settlement was to find the time to improve her mental wellbeing. So, once she had dispatched any evidence of married life to the bottom of a bedroom closet, Lorrie sought treatment for long-term depression. She also took steps to bolster her self-confidence, including meditation and getting out and about in to nature.
At the same time, Jeffrey, now living on the other side of Bowling Green, OH, also discovered ways to make himself feel better. Somewhere near the top of the list was seeking treatment to overcome his alcoholism. He also took up intensive exercise to improve his body and learned to express his feelings through poetry. Jeffrey even took the opportunity to switch careers, giving up trucking in order to go back to school and finish a nursing course.
So it seems that post-split, as well as sharing eight dependents, Lorrie and Jeffrey had something in common: the motivation to make an improvement to their sense of self. However, they also both claim that they had no ulterior motives; their physical and mental efforts were purely for themselves. As the months and years went by with each working on their personalities, though, they both found it easier to get along and co-parent their kids.
At one sorry stage in the proceedings, for example, the former Mr. and Mrs. Agan had found it impossible to be in the same room together. But after some time spent working on themselves, Lorrie and Jeffrey each began to feel the benefits, and things subtly changed. The divorcees discovered that they could bear to spend time together as part of a family during holiday seasons, for one thing. The pair were also able to celebrate their children’s birthdays with each other and without incident.
And that mutual understanding opened an unexpected door for the Agans. About three years after their divorce, Lorrie and Jeffrey started to speak to each other properly again. And, after a few months spent building bridges as friends with improved communication, the pair took an even more surprising step.
Unbelievably, towards the end of 2017, the divorced couple began dating again. Needless to say, their eight children were both shocked and skeptical. It appeared that none of the kids wanted to get their hopes up about a bona fide reconnection between Lorrie and Jeffrey. “Initially, I was terrified,” Jeffrey Jr. admitted to Today in December 2017.
But his first fears proved unfounded; Jeffrey Jr.’s parents were serious about each other – more than they had been in many, many years. And on December 23, Mr. Agan gave the former Mrs. Agan a gift to prove it, and Jeffrey Jr. was on hand to film it. The young man uploaded the resulting clip to Twitter the following day so that the watching world could enjoy the moment online. The video shows Lorrie holding a large box in her hands, as we hear her jokingly ask, “Is it a pizza?”
We watch as Lorrie unwraps the present under the Christmas tree, and instead of takeaway Italian food, we see that her gift is a picture. It turns out that Jeffrey had penned a poem in her honor and had it mounted and framed. We hear Lorrie announce the title of the piece, “Love Burns Anew,” and she begins to read aloud, “Our love was there, it never left. The both of us felt lost…”
The video now shows that the author of the poem has adopted a kneeling position in front of his ex-wife. She continues, “Fate intervened for me and you, and love caught fire and burns anew. So now I ask you, Lorrie, once again…” At this point, her voice trails away as she regards Jeffrey with her mouth hanging open. She knows what he is about to do.
At this point in the film, we watch Jeffrey present Lorrie with an engagement ring. Happily, the recipient cannot contain her excitement. “Yes, yes, yes, yes! I love you so much,” she exclaims as the pair embrace. It looked very much like they were going to be Mr. and Mrs. Agan again. An overwhelmed Lorrie later told CBS Evening News, “There are no words to express what I felt at that moment.”
And, of course, it had been captured forever by their son Jeffrey Jr. And after he shared the moment on Twitter, users have viewed his parents’ proposal an astonishing 11 million times. The cameraman later spoke to Cosmopolitan about his viral video. “It blows me away how well it resonated with some people,” Jeffrey Jr. declared. “There’s a lot of hurt in our country today, a message of love and reconciliation was really needed.”
And, perhaps anxious not to hang around, his parents considered their second wedding in April 2018 to be just that: a reconciliation. The 52-year-old bride and 53-year-old groom even both referred to the big event as a healing ceremony. And Lorrie for one acknowledged how lucky they both were to be walking down the aisle again. “We get a do-over!” she exclaimed excitedly to CBS Evening News. “Who gets do-overs in this world?”
Needless to say, the Agans’ children were just as pleased with their parents’ love renewal and springtime nuptials. And another son, Sean, got emotional when he said as much to the CBS cameras. Yes, the teenager choked up as he said, “I was just so happy for my parents. It’s just they’ve both come so far. I’m just so proud of them.”
Yet although Ma and Pa Agan’s story is one of love rekindled, it is also a tale of self-improvement and personal discovery. And Jeffrey had a parting piece of sage advice for the CBS Evening News audience. He signed off, “Don’t be too proud to get help, because some jobs are too big for you to do by yourself.”