. . . who are always there when you need them. They show up on your doorstep when your baby daughter is a day or two old, bearing a roasted chicken, green beans, salad, and an heirloom-recipe apple pie.
When you get distracted in your new car and smack into a van bearing a rolled-up carpet—the vehicular equivalent of colliding with the business end of a log truck—they're by your side with comforting words for you and handy translation of your incoherent babble for the police.
When necessary, they hold your hand . . . even over the phone.
I have known Mark and Marianne Barnebey for more years than I admit to wandering this earth. Today is their thirtieth wedding anniversary—a testament to love, devotion and two fabulous senses of humor. While I was not present for their wedding, I've seen the photos and heard the stories. God has smiled on them in many ways.
This is their firstborn, Matthew. Matt is one of the finest people I know; an aspiring race car driver and all-around Good Guy. He was the kind of kid who walked out of "Remember the Titans" saying he liked the movie except for the cursing. I believe that was one "damn" inserted for dramatic purposes. The point is: Matt's mama and daddy set a great example, and he lives it.
Christopher spent a good deal of time in my house, and is equally terrific. He's a talented, accomplished chef and tons of fun to be around. Legendary childhood Chris stories include a time I extracted a staple from his head—Marianne was away and he wouldn't let Mark do it—and an incident in which he spilled hot soup on his head. He's much better in the kitchen now.
Beautiful daughter Emily has brought them joy, fun and laughter. I have loved spending time with her, too.
Cherished friends provide too many memories to list; Marianne standing atop a restaurant table, resplendent in red after winning her first City Council election . . . New Year's Eve parties with endless laughter . . . countless plates of nachos at The Boiler Room . . . fundraisers and events where we danced until the wee hours of the morning . . . shared time with our parents and my grandmother . . . hurricane parties . . . hugs, tears and smiles.
Congratulations to two of my favorite people on thirty wonderful years. I'm grateful to have been along for the ride, and look forward to thirty more.
Love from Delta.