I was already home from work by the time they returned from this first meeting. Judy couldn't stop talking about how much she adored Jami's new friend. Judy had been Jami's chosen Godmother as she was going through the process of joining Judy's church, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Parish in Bath, PA at the time.
Judy rambled on about how Mike was Catholic, and he had an uncle who is a priest and aunt who is a nun. Since Judy is a very devoted Catholic she felt that Jami's decision to join her church and meeting Mike were acts of Divine Intervention. I must agree, especially now that I know she was so right.
It wasn't long before Mike asked Jami to marry him on Valentine's Day at a very romantic dinner. I had an engagement party for them where we made all of the wedding plans. It was so much fun going to get Jamiann's gown and planning the wedding.
In my already established tradition we did everything for their wedding. It was to be held at the Sacred Heart Church in Bath with Father Greg and Mike's uncle Father Edmund performing the ceremony. Jamiann chose Judy to be her Maid of Honor, and Mike chose his dad to be his Best Man! The reception was to be held at the Hickory Hills Club House. Mike's friend and groomsman Dennis who is also a radio announcer in Bethlehem, PA doubled as the DJ. My husband, Jamiann's step-dad walked her down the isle to the first pew, then her father took her to the alter and pulled back her veil, gave her a kiss and her hand to Mike.
Jami and I shopped for everything necessary from the paper to be used for the invitations, to the linens for the tables. We decided to use round clear glass ball shaped vases filled with real flowers of all different varieties for centerpieces. Jami had decided to follow in my tradition of baking and decorating her own wedding cake. She chose fondant for the icing. We decided on a practical solution for the bridesmaids and rented the gorgeous gowns. My first granddaughter Emily was the flower girl she was three years old at the time. I found an adorable princess like white dress, flower basket, and ring of flowers for her head. We made all the bouquets and boutonnieres.
Some of my friends, family, and I made the food, and appetizers. Everything came together beautifully, and all of our favorite friends and family were there to celebrate their special day. Everyone who knows us well knows how Jamiann adored Barry Manilow ever since she saw him in person with her Aunt Irene at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, PA. So, it was only right their first dance was a Barry Manilow song "Who Needs To Dream". It was also very fitting that she had one entire table filled with all of her "Maniloonie" friends from the Manilow Fan Club. They came from all over to attend their wedding. It was absolutely a joy, and also touching to have them there. We all had attended many Manilow concerts, television show tapings, and other events together all over the country.
In order to make a long story short, here we are ten years down the road and Jamiann and Mike have such a beautiful family. Three gorgeous, intelligent, and interesting children of their own, all two years apart in age, a girl, a boy, a girl. During the last week of August 2012 all will be attending school. They attend a parochial school, and are well versed in biblical stories and principals. They all know how to pray and the two oldest know the Lord's Prayer by heart.
One thing that makes me very proud is that they all always eat dinner together around the dining room table. Every weekend Mike takes the family on day trips to fun local attractions or maybe just a day at a local playground. They attend church together as a family. As a mother Jamiann tries to buy organic whenever possible, and she is an excellent cook and baker. Mike is such a wonderful husband and father. He helps with all of the household chores even though he works out of the home for a local university. Jamiann is a stay at home mom who walks to the bus stop rain or shine to greet the kids when they disembark.
They even planned their anniversary romantic getaway dates to precede the actual date of their anniversary so they could spend this evening with their children. My granddaughter Abby the oldest of the three called me this morning to share the fact that she served her mommy and daddy breakfast in bed, toaster waffles with fruit on top, and orange juice. She also was thrilled to fill me in on tonight's dinner plans of a family sit down dinner of roast turkey and all the trimmings with peach pie ala mode and white cake for dessert.
Yes, I can easily say that their meeting was most certainly divine intervention. I wish them many years of happiness and God's infinite blessings!
"In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit."MARGE KENNEDY