Two Island kids — one a full-timer and the other a summer resident — grew up together, had a fling in high school, went their separate ways to college and ultimately met again here years later and became engaged on Valentine’s Day 2009.
Kelly, 33, and Brett Surerus, 34, and their 3-month old son Jackson now split their lives between Brooklyn, and Shelter Island.
“We were boyfriend and girlfriend, whatever that means,” when she was 13 and he was 14, Ms. Surerus said. She went away to Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, while he studied at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts. Although the two were only about 50 miles apart, their lives by then had taken different directions. And upon graduation, Mr. Surerus stayed in Massachusetts while his future bride moved to South Carolina and later New York City.
Fast forward to 2005 when both were back on the Island for a weekend and met up again. They spent what she describes as “a lovely day” driving around the Island and from then on, “We were pretty much inseparable,” Ms. Surerus said. Although she was living in Hoboken and he had moved to Huntington, they managed the commute regularly.
“It’s a lot of work, but it makes seeing each other worthwhile,” she said about that shuttle between their homes.
When she returned to school at Stony Brook University to study nursing, that brought them geographically closer.
On Valentine’s Day in 2009, he had cooked dinner, she recalled. They are both wine aficionados, keeping a journal of what they had tasted, where and the occasion. As she grabbed for the journal to record their tastings that night, she casually asked, how she should list it — as Valentine’s Day?
“Maybe write the day we got engaged,” he responded.
While they hadn’t formally talked about getting married, she thinks they both assumed their stars had crossed.
On June 19, 2010, they tied the knot with a ceremony at Manhasset Chapel and a reception at the home of the groom’s parents, Noelle and Paul Surerus, on Linda Court.
“It was a totally beautiful wedding,” Ms. Surerus said.
The couple and little Jackson spend most of the week in Brooklyn, accessible to Mr. Surerus for his job in commercial banking, while his wife will be going back to her job soon as an intensive care nurse at North Shore University Hospital. She works an overnight shift while he works days, but they plan to hire a “sleep sitter” to care for young Jackson when mom has to return to her job.
Plans for this year?
“We have a little one now,” Ms. Surerus replied, adding it is likely they’ll recreate that dinner at home on the night she accepted his proposal.