"Albert knew I still loved Patrick and would always love him," Lisa Niemi said.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 6, 2023. It has since been updated.
Lisa Niemi, late actor Patrick Swayze's widow, was in a dilemma, more than four years after his passing. Should she marry her jeweler boyfriend, Albert DePrisco? "I have to say, that the love I have for Patrick was never in conflict or competition with my feelings for Albert," she told PEOPLE in 2014. "That is until Albert asked me to marry him!"
After 34 years of marriage to Patrick Swayze, she felt conflicted. Reaffirming her love for her late husband while also emphasizing how much she and DePrisco loved one another, Niemi said, "Albert knew I still loved Patrick and would always love him, and told me, 'And I know you love me, and I love you'". She added, "How could I not marry this man? As I had time to process the change my life was going to take, my doubts became less and less, and I became more and more sure."
Niemi admits that accepting the proposal required a "leap of faith," even though it made her wonder if she could truly spend the rest of her life with another person. "I found myself grappling with my feelings of having been married to Patrick for 34 years! Privately, I flipped, I flopped. Yes, get married, no, don't get married," she said.
Niemi walked down the aisle and exchanged vows with DePrisco, in front of more than 50 family members and friends in May 2014. She thinks Swayze would be delighted for her and her new found love. "About a month and a half ago, I had a dream about Patrick," she said. "It was like he was giving me his blessing and letting me know it was okay. Again, it can be hard sometimes to take those steps forward, but it doesn't change the way we feel about someone. He was letting me know that."
She feels like the decision was made easier because Albert is such a supportive partner. "I could say that it's Albert's heart, his generosity, his personal strength, and his sense of fun, as some of the reasons why I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, and they would be true," she said.
Her wedding ring is a cushion-cut diamond eternity band, and she has a matching second band similar to Albert's. "It's one that I can work horses in, swim in, fly in. It'll probably be the one I wear most," she adds. "I guess I'll have to put them all on a rotating schedule!"
The bride and groom, who were in their late 50s at the time, performed a dance that DePrisco's sister, Deirdre, a professional ballroom dancer, choreographed for their reception. "Albert was concerned about looking good while dancing, but he has a natural rhythm, and is a great mover — much more so than he knows!" Niemi shared. "I knew, though, that if we just looked into each other's eyes and danced with our hearts, all would be well. The dance was a blast. And we got quite a bit of applause! It was so fun to share it," she said.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Mark Mainz