Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All You Need is LOVE!

There's nothing more life-affirming than witnessing a young couple vow to love, honor, obey in sickness and in health 'til death they do part. I got to do just that over the weekend with one of my favorite couples: Domenick DiPaolo and Tiffany Ladnier.

I first met Dom the summer before he entered the tenth grade, when he was on my Teen Board at Northpark Mall. He lived in Brookhaven and didn't have a driver's license yet, so his parents, Peter and Carolyn, drove him to Ridgeland for our events. Thus began one of our great friendships.

Dom went on to attend Millsaps where he was the goalie for the soccer team. It's also where he met Tiffany. The couple's love grew stronger during Dom's tour of duty in Iraq with the Marine Reserves.  Pete and Carolyn moved from Brookhaven to Key West, then back to their native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they now live.

Family and friends from PA to FL all converged in Jackson over the weekend for the beautiful wedding. I was fortunate to be invited to the rehearsal dinner on Thursday night, and Jacqui and I hosted the bridesmaid's brunch on Friday morning. A look at the photos will give you a clue as to the joy felt by everyone.

We went from wedding vows and the reception dance floor on Friday night to Methodist Rehab's extended care facility on Saturday morning for the Walk & Roll fundraiser event. Nicole's team, "You Can't Stop This Dancer," raised funds for research at Methodist Rehab. (It's not to late to give! Click HERE to donate online now!)

The walk involved two laps--one mile--around Mirror Lake, across the street from the center. Nicole walked the trail the entire way without the aid of a cane! She had Jell-o legs by the end, but did alot of other able-bodied people! It was very emotional for me to know that just 21 months ago, she was laying in a hospital bed in NY in critical condition, with a prognosis of quadriplegia. Her recovery has been remarkable, and as usual, so many people in attendance on Saturday were inspired by her. She visited with patients, and even found some time to DANCE, of course, to the sounds of the MS Swing Band.
Nic and friend, Pam
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Get it, girl!
Talamieka's beautiful smile
When the Saints Go Marching In!
Eddie Streety and his wife came to walk with us.
Friend Karen Skeen and our neighbor, Liz Grant

It's good to participate in events like these from time to affirm our faith in love, and to remind us that even though it can change in the blink of an eye, life goes on and we can still find the joy in it every day. 

Congratulations Dom and Tif, and congratulations to all those who came out to support Walk & Roll...(and remember, you can be a part of that support group by donating HERE!) 

Blessings to all who read this!

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