The two met while they both worked at Safeway. I'm not sure what all took place in the storage area, at the back of the store, but I do know that one day I went back there to find Dennis and there he was throwing a football (if I remember it right) with this young girl. With them both having the look of being caught at something, Ashley quickly vanished to the front of the store.
My first impression - she is so young! It happened that Dennis was falling in love with a girl just slightly younger than he was. It was not hard to see in his eyes that he really cared for her. I admit that I wondered about this situation, being that Dennis had an eight year old son and I had to question if Ashley realized what she would be getting herself into. It cannot be easy to step into a small family with a son, at her age.
Around a year later they married. As with many new relationships, there were some hard times to work through and some bumps to get over. Over the past three years, I have watched Dennis fall deeper in love with Ashley and her grow and mature into a such a fine young lady. Not only do they have a strong marriage but Tyler and Ashley have grown very close. Now, the baby, Adam is finding his place in the family of four. He is walking and beginning to talk. If I remember right, I believe I heard that Grandpa was his first word. Adam, now around 18 months, is getting where he is not so afraid of me. I think he still remembers how his Grandpa was willing to let him cry himself to sleep.
I am very proud of Dennis. He is a great husband, dad, man, hard worker, and a son that any dad would be glad to have. Ashley is one of my four girls and is also very special to me. She is a necessary part of this family and I am so happy that the two of them dedicated themselves to do whatever it took to make their marriage work. For that hard work, they are being rewarded with a strong foundation that has been built, one brick at a time.
Dennis, thanks for being such a good son. Ashley, thanks for being such a good daughter. May God bless your marriage and family and as you grow together during each of the coming years, may you also grow in your relationships with the Lord. His hand is definitely upon the two of you and I see Him working in your lives. He has taken "two" and made "one".