Maryanne, with deep set, dark brown eyes and a smile that can be seen a mile away!
She makes it a priority in her life; lighting a fire that will spark much joy in the lives of others.
But all fire's eventually burn out and Maryanne has had to re-light many times.
I wanted to write this today since Maryanne made it on a nation-wide television show last night; a special show that ended up bringing tears to the eyes of so many. She was a contestant on the popular game show, Wheel of Fortune. And this particular show, totally unrehearsed and unexpectedly, gave her an incredible gift.
Her husband, Andy, who is in the Army and had been deployed to Afghanistan for the past year, was presented to her at the end of the show; a complete surprise. Maryanne had been waiting for him to come home and only knew that it would be soon. She had hoped to surprise him by winning something wonderful that she could share and yes, she did win some very nice things including a trip to Las Vegas. But it was Andy who was able to turn the table and surprise her, which for him, is very un-characteristic.
We were fortunate to have been there for the taping when it all happened and everyone was crying, yes everyone, tears of joy for Maryanne. Then last night when it finally aired on tv, we had our own small "Wheel Watching" party and everyone in the room was also crying.
I cried again too, and still cry with every new youtube posting. I cry because I know that my daughter was so blissfully happy; that having Andy back safely from a war that she knew could have easily stolen him away forever, was her greatest reward of all.
I also knew that there had been struggles in her life, more struggles than a young woman her age would ever be expected to have to go through, but she did. And because she made it through all of them, I couldn't be prouder of her.
Congratulations, Maryanne, for a job well done!
And just in case you missed it...