Monthly Archives: November 2013

35 Years Together

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On Sunday, November 24th, Mark and I will be married for 35 years. We were married at St. Jean’s Catholic Church in Muskegon, Michigan on a cold Friday night in 1978 and almost 600 people attended.

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We celebrated our beautiful day with our wonderful parents by our side. Mark’s dad couldn’t believe we chose deer hunting season to get married, but he happily attended and so did his hunting buddies.

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We were both very lucky to have our grandparents attend. Grandma Beckman was the only living grandparent on my side then, but Mark was lucky to have all four of his grandparents there to see us get married.

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I had eight sisters and some of my friends as my beautiful bridesmaids and my three sweet little nieces (Anne, Allison and Melissa) were my flower girls.

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Mark had ten brothers-in-law and friends as groomsmen and ushers and my adorable nephew Patrick was the ring bearer.

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The ceremony included a lot of beautiful music including soloists and a trumpet player.

Our reception was held at Carpenter Hall. Since the families were all together, the reception was a great opportunity to get some shots of the whole bunch.

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Even though Mark and I didn’t know each other very well when we got married, we both felt that we had really lucked out to have found each other.

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Years later we still feel we  couldn’t have picked a better partner to spend most of our lives with.

Dear Mark

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Dear Mark,

Last night when you asked me if I wanted to do something special for our 35th wedding anniversary I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t speak because I selfishly want 35 more years of being married to you. I couldn’t speak because I want it all my way or our way but we both know we can’t have it that way.

We have never been very good at giving gifts to each other for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. I know why material gifts have never been important to us; it’s because material items can’t compare to the simple gifts we give each other every day.

Mark, you have been so good to me and so patient with me for 35 years even though I had so many silly ideas. And I know I probably drove you nuts because of my social schedule. Thank you for giving me loose reins to pursue my love for people because I know I overbooked our lives many times but you always seemed to help me make it work.

We both know what a gift Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan have been to us. I’m glad we compromised on the number of kids we decided to have. If we would have had eight kids like I wanted, our household would have been super crazy but four kids actually was perfect and more manageable. Thank you for always being my checks and balance husband. You always seem to gently pull me back to reality.

Sometimes when I look at you I can’t speak without crying because I don’t want to leave you. I love us together and I love our life. We don’t really know what our future holds but if you continue to help me make sense of what is happening in our lives life will be great as long as I am with you.

I love you like crazy.


Shaving My Legs

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Some days Mark and I laugh a Iot. This morning Mark offered to shave my legs for me so he brought a chair into the bathroom. I sat down on the chair and put my leg out straight with my foot resting on top of a drawer knob. Mark laid on the floor under my leg to get a better angle for shaving the back of it and said, “I feel like I’m changing the oil in the car.”

My 2013 Goals

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My nephew Patrick’s text message last week about his New Year’s resolution made me think of the New Year’s goals I set for 2013.

Last December during a family ski vacation in Colorado I became really pumped about goal setting after talking with my nephew Billy Wagner. Billy is the North Coast territory owner at Brightway Insurance in Florida and is a master at setting goals and accomplishing them. I hadn’t written down many goals since my retirement three years ago so thought it was time to get started again.

I needed a partner to hold me accountable, so I asked Corey to help me. Corey is a great goal setter himself and I thought he would be the perfect person to help me accomplish my 2013 goals because he wouldn’t let me get away with any excuses. He agreed to be my partner and asked if I would  help him stay on task as well. Because he lives in San Francisco and I live in Muskegon, we set up a weekly accountability FaceTime meeting every Sunday to update one another on our progress.


Rosemary’s 2013 Goals

  • Drink more water and make better food choices
  • Do cardio, upper body, stomach and balancing exercises four times per week
  • Don’t be a spokesperson for others and stop trying to change people
  • Ask myself ‘If I were to die today, would I spend my time doing…?’
  • Hang around positive people
  • Read more motivational books


In January, Corey and I started out strong with our weekly meetings to talk about our goals. Then at the end of the month we received the dreaded news of my ALS diagnosis. After the news set in, I gave up on the idea of keeping goals because I thought what was the point. I think Corey gave up on his goals for a while, too.

Looking back to January, we both may have aborted our Sunday night FaceTime meetings to talk about our goals, but somehow I think we were setting our goals too low because I feel we both accomplished more in this up and down year than what we thought imaginable.

Autumn Walks


For me walking in the woods with people I love makes my world happy and peaceful. Within the past two weeks Mark and I have been able to get out for three nice long walks in the woods with three different couples that we love.

Chris and Kelly were able to sneak in a hike with Mark and I near Lost Lake while the trees were still very colorful and full of beauty.


Thais and her husband Paulo traveled from Brazil to visit us last week. Thais has been a great gift to our family and we love her like our own.


And our good friends Dave and Jan Harris joined us for an afternoon hike to Lost Lake as well.


I’m anxious to use my Chairiot, but I want to walk in these woods for as long as I can.