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Monday, August 4, 2014

Sandy's Words at our 25th ROV Ceremony


I was asked to speak at my dear friends, Ellie and Mark, renewal of vows. If any of you know me well you know that I do NOT speak in front of groups. Well, I faced my demon yesterday and for the first time I willingly got up in front of a room full of people to honor this beautiful couple and this is what I had to say...

I've known Ellie since she was 8 years old but it wasn't until a random dinner at her sister, Anne's house did we meet on a more adult level. We connected immediately. We discovered that we were both looking for roommates so we got a place together and were roommates for the next 2 years. It was during this time when Ellie met Mark, they played softball on the same team. She was immediately enamored with Mark. He displayed many of the characteristics that she looked for in a partner...he was athletic, tall, cute and most importantly kind. Plus, it didn't hurt that he was a gifted musician that would sing to her everyday for the next 25 years...how sweet is that?

The relationship progressed rapidly and in a few short months they had become engaged and married. Ellie had her day care business and Mark joined her in that. They worked together so perfectly. The children in their care were exposed to the love Mark and Ellie shared and that love spilled over into everything they did when caring for these children.

Prior to having a family Mark and Ellie traveled the world, made a home and continued to nurture their marriage which was always of the greatest importance. It would be 5 years before Beau would make his appearance. When Beau finally arrived they were so happy and content being parents, they loved this little boy with all their hearts and were 100% devoted to their small family.

Life did throw at them enormous challenges that would make most marriages crumble. The difficult birth and challenges that Teale has presented brought out the best in both of these remarkable people. They have loved each other with tender care through it all. The biggest beneficiary is Teale who is so blessed to have Mark and Ellie as parents. Then, the icing on the cake was when Gwen was born. This sweet, beautiful baby girl completed their family.

The constant theme throughout their whole marriage is how they purposefully cared and nurtured their marriage and family. They didn't just leave it to chance that their marriage would work...vacations, dates, holidays and a relentless sense of humor have bonded and enriched these two beautiful souls. Individually, they are two remarkable people, together they are an inspiration and a force for good to all that know them.

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