Many of you have asked about the story of Barry and Sharon. So here is my story and I am sticking to it.
I met the wonderful Barry Ardrey while on vacation in Florida to visit my parents. I was there with Annie and we had sworn off men for the trip. (God has a sense of humor).
My dad told me about this young man that lived across the street. He was new in town and my dad felt I should "show him around town" for the evening. Just to be nice. So, Annie and I said yes, reluctantly. Little did I know that this Young Man’s father was telling him to show Annie and I around as we were new to the area as well. (I had lived in Naples for 3 years). So, My dad calls his dad and they basically set us up. George Ardrey brings over his son Barry to meet us and as I walk out to the lanai to say hello (politely, not at all interested in him), I hear the "voice". Ok, so I hear voices! Get over it. Anyway, this voice in my head said "that is the man you will marry!" I was shocked! I ignored that voice
Anyway, we go out with barry for the evening. My favorite line of the night was uttered by Annie when she said (when barry was out of earshot) "All we need are the chips, the dips already here!"
Well, barry and I had a lovely week and we spent a lot of time together. But when it was time for me to leave, I told myself I would not contact him again. Remember, I had sworn off men. But Barry was consistent. He called a lot. I found myself not swearing off him. But I told him we would only be friends. (remember, God has a sense of humor)
Before long we had racked up thousands of dollars of long distance bills, air fare, and gas money visiting each other. After 8 months of long distance "friendship" (who am I kidding), barry called late one night, December 20th to be exact, and asked me to marry him. Yes, it was over the phone! I thought he was kidding, but he told me he was on one knee! I accepted.
Barry moved to Pittsburgh and we began our life togehter. He was unemployed so I actually had to purchase my first engagement ring. That is why on our 5th anniversary, he presented me with another engagement ring that he bought and asked me to marry him again, right in the middle of Garcia’s restaurant. I said Yes of course (I figured I had sworn off men long enough). I thought he was just being cute by asking me to marry him again. However, he had a notary waiting in the restaurant and all the staff were in on it too. We got up, went into the lobby and renewed our vows right there on the spot! Too cool.
That is when we came up with the idea that we should do that every 5 years. Renew our vows as a reminder of what marriage is all about. It is easy to forget that you promised to love, honor, cherish this person that leaves dirty clothes on the floor and doesn’t clean up dishes, or perhaps folds the towels all wrong. By taking those vows again, you can’t help but remember why you love this person with all your heart. And the towels and dishes and laundry are the small things. I love God’s sense of humor!!! Thank you for giving me Barry…he is the love of my life.