Nicole and David Sherrard were high school sweethearts who fell in love at 15 and 17 years old.
Nearly 20 years later, at David’s funeral, Nicole shared their love story. And in it was a powerful message on love, commitment and faith.
David was laid to rest Tuesday, the day before Valentine's Day, after becoming the first officer in the history of the Richardson Police Department to be gunned down in the line of duty.
What he left behind was a marriage that had fallen apart and been rebuilt over the 15 years since the couple wed in November of 2002. It had gone from the brink of divorce, to a loving relationship centered around faith and each other's happiness.
Nicole gave insight into a relationship with a husband who felt more like a roommate. David was working evenings, and Nicole was working “deep nights,” and hardly saw each other. They had drifted apart.
“Our marriage was falling apart,” she said. “There was hurt, bitterness and anger. And instead of talking about it, we just kept going on with life.”
At church, David rated their marriage a seven. Nicole gave it a three. Two years ago, Nicole told David she wanted a divorce.
“Dave told me to give our marriage one more chance and he would prove to me he could be the husband I needed him to be. And at the time of his death two years later, he had not let me down one time.”
Speaking in front of hundreds of friends, family and fellow officers, Nicole shared what made David a great husband, and ultimately what she says saved their marriage.
He was a godly husband. They re-prioritized their life: God first, then spouse, then children and work.
He spoiled his wife, and wasn’t afraid to embarrass himself to make her happy.
“He always said mushy stuff and made a complete fool out of himself for me even though he knew he was gonna get teased about it from his buddies,” she said.
David began keeping a journal, documenting his commitment to their marriage. Nicole cited one particular entry during her eulogy:
“I have to put God and Nic[ole] at the top of everything else. It is not enough to just feel it. Nic has to feel how much I love her. She is all I want and need, and I have to make her feel that she deserves to be happy. Make her happiness a priority over everything else.”
With a renewed focus, David had accomplished that. The two years since hitting rock bottom were the “godly, loving, and the happiest years” of their marriage, Nicole said Tuesday.
They celebrated their 15-year anniversary in November. They recently rated their marriage again. Both gave it a 10-plus.
“Let our marriage be your example. Learn from us on how short life actually can be,” Nicole said. “We thought we had forever.”
She ended her 10-minute speech Tuesday at Watermark Church in Dallas with a simple message for the hundred in attendance, and the thousands more watching the service live online:
“Fix your marriage if it is struggling. You never know what tomorrow may bring.”