Country music icon Alan Jackson’s daughter Mattie recently celebrated her engagement to fiancé Connor Smith. In the post dated November 14, Mattie announced that it had been a fantastic fall night with her favorite guy.
She posted a series of photos, with one where she posed alongside her fiancé, another with her fiancé and her parents, Alan Jackson and his wife of 43 years, Denise Jackson, and several others with other relatives and loved ones.
“Perfect fall night with all my people celebrating me and my fav guy.” She wrote, before thanking her hosts and announcing that she would be getting married in the following six months:
“6 months til forever, baby.”
The engagement is a massive step for Mattie, as she has come a long way in finding true happiness. This comes after the 32-year-old lost the love of her life in 2018, at 28.
How Did Alan’s Daughter Become a Widow at 28?
Mattie had been married to her husband, Ben Selecman, for nearly a year when tragedy struck. The fateful day in 2018 started beautifully on the deck of Jackson’s boat, where the family had gathered to celebrate Labour Day.
But for Mattie and Ben, the day also signified something more. They were also celebrating their first anniversary. The two had met when attending the University of Tennessee, and Mattie had fallen in love with Ben’s colossal personality and cheerful and joyful nature.
Speaking to People, Mattie recalled how in love they still were when her husband met his untimely death: “We were still in the honeymoon phase of our life.”
But then, fate had other plans. She recalls that the dock had been wet, and Ben slipped and hit his head. In the following minutes, Mattie kept hoping it was one of those times when someone fell, got back up, and shook it off. Except this was not one of those times.
Soon, it became apparent that Ben’s fall may have caused more than just a concussion. A visit to the emergency room soon proved that everything was not okay. Surgeries followed, and then an 11-day medically induced coma.
Less than a day later, Ben’s heart started failing, and on September 12, 2018, he breathed his last. Mattie became a widow at only 28 and after only a year into marriage. It was a painful period for her, and the agony that followed was unimaginable.
The next three years were an emotional roller coaster. However, she chose to see the positive. All along, she believed that her husband’s demise was just the way life was because in her words:
“I don’t believe God chose to inflict this pain on me.”
Alan’s Daughter Shares Her Love Story with the Man Who Made Her Happy Again
Her pain lasted a long time, but eventually, there was light at the end of the tunnel. In a lengthy post dedicated to her now-fiancé Smith, she disclosed that she had met him in late 2021.
They had met up for happy hour, and she had no expectations. However, four hours later, their drinks date turned into dinner, and they have been together since. She added:
“I have believed, prayed, and claimed for three and a half years now that God would give me the chance to love someone with my whole heart again.”
She referred to Smith as an answered prayer and noted how other widow friends had assured her that her heart would heal enough to accommodate the love for both her late husband and a new love interest. Mattie says she desperately hoped that was true, but meeting Smith had proved it was.
She then acknowledged his playful, generous, childlike spirit and tender heart. She thanked him for helping her be herself, even as she dealt with her loss, and for taking her faults and dreams with respect, appreciation, and honor. She then thanked God, saying she could not believe he could redeem broken hearts the way he does.
After dating for nearly a year, Smith finally popped the question at Palm Beach, Florida. She revealed that they had gone down for a beach week to celebrate Smith’s 30th birthday. She did not know he had other plans in mind.
She shared that she was thrilled about the surprise and felt overwhelmingly beautiful that a simple birthday celebration had turned into choosing the rest of their lives together. She ended the post by writing: “You are the biggest blessing.”