Marriage was part of the grand plan

JUST MARRIED

Lisa Pollard And Brian Morris

January 09, 2000|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Brian Morris has plans. Not dreams, because dreams don't always come true. Plans, now, they're a different story -- at least for someone with Brian's ambition.

In Brian's case, the plans are relatively straightforward: Establish himself in a career he loves, find a strong but supportive woman to be his wife and then settle into the ultimate role of his life -- husband and father.

Brian has had these plans for more than 10 years, since he was a student at Baltimore City College High School in the late 1980s. That's when Brian first met Lisa Pollard. Pretty and popular, Lisa didn't bother with the boys in her own class, preferring to date older guys. Not that Brian was some wallflower. He was a member of the football team and well-liked in his own right. He "was voted the sexiest guy in the class, and even that was not enough for her" to notice him, Brian says with a laugh, looking back.

He and Lisa graduated from City College in 1988. As they had in school, the two classmates went their separate ways. Brian earned a bachelor of arts in economics at the University of Maryland, College Park and then helped found Legacy Unlimited, a Baltimore investment brokerage and financial services company. As the firm's chief executive officer, he's been profiled in a number of stories on young business leaders, including Ebony magazine's "30 Leaders Under 30" as well as the Baltimore Business Journal's "40 Under 40."

Lisa forged her own way in the world, too. She worked to pay for nursing-school classes. But when her son, Anthony, was born three years ago, the single mother deferred her plan -- for a little while. She is an accounts manager for a subsidiary of Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, though her life's goal remains becoming a registered nurse.

In November 1998 Brian and Lisa met once more, at their 10-year high school reunion. They noticed one another right away that evening, locking eyes as Lisa walked through the door. The former classmates whiled the night away and found themselves still deep in conversation at 6: 30 the next morning. Brian and Lisa began dating exclusively after that. By Christmas they'd discussed marriage.

Lisa, who says she had never thought seriously about marrying before, remained reluctant. Introducing Brian to her son over the holiday changed her feelings. "What really turned it all was his relationship with my son. If that didn't click, we wouldn't have clicked or the click would've been over," she says.

Brian proposed on Mother's Day last year. He and young A. J. (as everyone calls Lisa's son) presented Lisa with a set of decorative plates. The plate Brian offered showed a couple embracing a child. Lisa's engagement ring was attached to its center.

On an unseasonably warm and sunny New Year's Day, Brian, 28, and Lisa, 29, were married at Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church in Walbrook Junction.

The 200 guests included Lisa's mother, Charlease Adams of Northeast Baltimore, and her father, Stanley Pollard of Mount Vernon, as well as Brian's mother, Brenda Morris of West Baltimore. The wedding program included a dedication in memory of Brian's father, the late Alvin Morris.

Before Brian and Lisa said their vows, they lighted a Unity Candle symbolizing their new life together. The Rev. Reginald L. Kennedy then led the couple in a "special dedication." Lisa and Brian presented one another with Egyptian ankhs they had made for the occasion. The symbols on the pendants represent Brian and Lisa's new family and their hopes that this new line will last for eternity.

Brian then presented a third ankh to A. J. Crying as he placed the pendant around the young boy's neck, Brian had many of the guests in tears as well, as he explained how he planned to do his very best to raise A. J. as a strong black man -- in spite of the obstacles and misfortunes of the modern world.

Brian's words at the service reflected the plans he had told Lisa about from the start of their relationship. "I've told her that I have been looking forward to this time to be a husband and a father," Brian says.

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