By Liana Jacob
MEET the mermaid who used to suffer from agoraphobia but found confidence in the community of mer-people but has since had no fear of the outside and her dream of enjoying a mermaid-themed wedding came true.
Quirky photos show professional mermaid, Cookie DeJesus (56), sitting in her bridal white tail blowing a kiss to her guests while holding a bunch of white flowers, while she is also shown kissing her husband, Rafael, while he holds her in the water.
The moment they exchanged their rings is shown in a picture, with Rafael wearing a tuxedo-printed sleeveless shirt.
Further pictures show another mermaid as the o-fish-iator for their wedding with the loved-up couple looking dreamily into each other’s eyes surrounded by their guests.
Despite being in a relationship for 35 years, it was only in January 2015 that they decided to tie the knot and with the blessing of her husband, Cookie, from New York, USA had her dream mer-wedding, with a guest list of 60 people and it only costed 140.95 pounds (200 dollars).
“Ever since I became a mermaid, my mood swings from my bipolar have lessened with help of medication and swimming. I’m actually living the dream – I’m not just existing anymore, I’m living my life – the merlife,” Cookie said.
“It’s been a childhood dream of mine to become a mermaid since I was a little girl. I honestly believe we exist, the ocean is so big and so much of it has been undiscovered.
“I always say when I die I shall be reincarnated as a mermaid in my next life. After watching Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, which is first time I saw a mermaid, I fell in love with her and with the idea of being free in the ocean.
“I always wanted to have a different wedding look, unique, I had it all planned out how I wanted my wedding to look like, I love color red, and had wanted my wedding gown to be red and my maidens in white.
“But time went by and destiny had other plans for me. After thirty-four years of living together with my now husband Ralph DeJesus, my dream became a reality after winning a mermaid photoshoot contest on North Carolina Merfest group online four years ago.
“I casually said how magical and cool it would be to get married as a mermaid in a tail during the Mermaid Convention.
“He said ‘let’s do it’ – mind you I have been waiting thirty-four years to hear those words, so I said ‘don’t play with me’ and he said ‘why not?’
“I’m lucky and blessed to have a talented, loving and supportive husband who makes my fabric tails for me to achieve my mermaid look both on land and sea.
“He has worn one of the mermaid tails he made me for a photoshoot, after which he surprised and shocked me by swimming in it. He’s not a merman, he is what is known as a MerWrangler and Pirate.”
The wedding took place in North Carolina, USA, which meant that their daughter (37) and son (30) couldn’t make it for the event.
The actual event went smoothly, but the toughest part was leading up to the wedding when two previous friends who were supposed to be marrying them on the day, backed out last minute and they were told if they didn’t find someone to replace them, the hotel would cancel the wedding.
“The person who was supposed to marry us, who also wrote vows for us, became very ill so could not travel, I was very sad, but his health comes first of course,” she said.
“I reached out on a group page and one of mermaids offered to marry us, but two weeks before wedding, she bowed out at first with no explanation but later on said it was due to a personal issue and she couldn’t preform at our wedding. I was devastated.
“The NCMerfest creator, where we would get married, gave his blessings for us to have it done during his event, but he told us if we can’t find someone to officially marry us, we can’t hold a pretend wedding.
“Well I’m a big believer in ‘three strikes you’re out’, so I was heartbroken this was not to be. But God is good, and I have an amazing merfamily.
“My mersister Heather Mermaid was reading all the comments and knew I was having all these issues, so he went ahead and messaged me and to my heart and fins’ delight he had himself ordained just to marry us.”
Cookie, who also goes by the name The Harlem Mermaid, says that living as a mermaid has helped her become more sociable. She also says that it has alleviated her bipolar symptoms, a condition that affects your moods, which can go from one extreme to another, and agoraphobia, extreme fear of open or public places.
“From the moment I became a mermaid I knew the rest of my life was forever changed and going to be magical and unforgettable just like our merwedding, I’m happier and healthier both physically and mentally,” she said.
“I have a positive outlook on life now, I have more purpose In my life and I look forward to going out and meeting people; swimming, entertaining, which makes for a happier home.
“I’m happiest when I’m in my mermaid persona; my tail gives me the confidence to be me and feel free, like a superhero’s shield that repels all my fear of being around people and being in the outside world.
“The happiness it brings me pours out of me like the bright ray of the sun. The joy I feel and share with others is what gives me purpose be surrounded by other merfolks in the world. That combined with the love of my life and my soul mate is what true happiness is to me.”
For more information visit: https://harlemmermaid.weebly.com/