Almost five years ago to the day, we met Mr. Stephen – called that by our boys as a sign of respect for what Stephen was about to do: enter into a life at the Naval Academy and service to our country. Mr. Stephen was the first plebe we sponsored when we moved to Annapolis.
Over the next four years he slept on our couch, ate everything I cooked (and loved it – and I loved him for it!), played with our boys and watched them grow from toddlers to schoolboys. My children adore Mr. Stephen. We all do.
In short, Mr. Stephen became part of our family – eventually spending weekends, weeks and a month with us while on leave or vacations from the Academy.
During this time we also had the privilege to spend time with his girlfriend, Megan when she came to visit and stay with us. I will never forget when Mr. Stephen walked in our house and showed me the ring he had purchased for her. And again when he graduated – was commissioned – and left for flight school in Pensacola.
Mr. Stephen is who I want my children to be: honest, caring, genuine, thoughtful and committed to all he chooses to do. And this weekend we had the honor of sharing in the joy of watching the greatest commitment of all: Mr. Stephen and Megan getting married. Their ceremony was one of pure joy and devotion. It was real and meaningful, and when they pledged themselves to each other in God’s name, they meant it. It was a beautiful and moving ceremony to witness.
It was also a time for reflection: on family and values, on love and on the meaningful people who enter our lives. And that was a beautiful thing as well.