Hands down, Cyndi, 46, Abington Heights High School teacher, and Summit Baptist Bible Church pastor, Don Roe, 53, believe their marriage is a gift. He was a widower of two months and she was divorced for a decade when they met at a Thanksgiving dinner arranged by Cyndi‚??s parents. Although they attended the same church, Cyndi Page had never met Pastor Don Roe prior to Thanksgiving. Their children knew one another through a church youth group, but the couples‚?? paths had never crossed.
During the time prior to their first meeting, Cyndi said, ‚??My daughters organized an outpouring of giving gift cards to Don and his family through the youth group and through the church, (Heritage Baptist Church, Clarks Summit) and had visited Don. That was Don‚??s first exposure to my family,‚?Ě said Cyndi, referring to the months following his wife‚??s death.
Don added, ‚??I had never met her, and these wonderful kids came in‚?Ľthey were delightful and they were from the youth group‚?ĽI didn‚??t think much about it. I had never met her (Cyndi) even though we were attending the same church .Her father, whom I‚??ve known well, invited me (and my two children) over for dinner for Thanksgiving. Cyndi was cooking the meal and bringing it to the house.‚?Ě
Don originally declined the invitation, explained Cyndi. ‚??His wife had passed away that August and this (the dinner) was November and it seemed a little quick.‚?Ě
Don said, ‚??They weren‚??t inviting me to meet her‚?Ľ‚?Ě
‚??My parents said, ‚??Oh, and our daughter will be there. Don backtracked and reaccepted the invitation,‚?Ě said Cyndi.
They exchanged some books at Thanksgiving and began emailing, but their romance was still kind of low key at that point, said Don. ‚??It was still kind of low -key, but I definitely had an interest. I stumbled around, manned up and asked her to take a ride in my pickup truck. She‚??s a golden person and I didn‚??t want to let her get away. I was blessed. I had a really good wife for almost 30 years and then to see someone like her. I thought, ‚??Don‚??t let her get away. Pursue this‚?Ľ‚?Ě And so, on a snowy day, Don and Cyndi had their first date.
Future dates were planned to revolve around Cyndi‚??s hectic schedule, as a single mother to five children. ‚??She was very hard to date,‚?Ě joked Don. ‚??The thing I could count on is that she gets up very early. Usually, she‚??s up by 4 or 4:30 a.m. On Saturday mornings, I could count on picking her up around 6 or 6:30 a.m., we‚??d get breakfast and she would shop for the week at Walmart. That was the highlight of the week.‚?Ě
Those shopping trips to Walmart became a weekly date for the couple, and Don‚??s offer to ‚??come push her cart,‚?Ě at Walmart, also included help load and unload groceries. He said to me, ‚??Why don‚??t I take you to breakfast and then I‚??ll go to Walmart with you and push your cart. He started doing that every week,‚?Ě said Cyndi. ‚??It was wonderful. Lots of acts of services. And that‚??s what I was in tremendous need of, with all of the things I was trying to accomplish.‚?Ě
They were married six weeks ago in a ceremony held at Summit Baptist Bible Church, followed by a reception at Heritage Baptist Church, where they met. Currently, they are in the process of settling in and blending in their home in South Abington Township, along with Don‚??s two children: Gavin, 17, and Hannah, 13; and Cyndi‚??s children: Stephen Page, 22, Crystal Page, 20, Amber Page, 18, Jenn Page, 16, Heather Page, 14 and their English Bulldog, Winston. And life is busy for the couple, whose hobbies include reading, motorcycles, exercising at Brown‚??s Gym and grocery shopping. And yes, Don still pushes her cart at the grocery store. ‚??You do learn a lot about people when you shop with them,‚?Ě said Don.
What Cyndi most admires about Don is his generosity to her and her children, and his willingness to take a risk and pursue a woman, when pursuing her also meant pursuing six people. He is also quick to trust. ‚??He sees the better side in people more quickly. Those are some really good qualities, especially for ministry,‚?Ě said Cyndi.
And Don‚??s first impression was, ‚??I met her and immediately I was attracted to her character. She had five children that she had done a very good job raising. She loves kids. She had excelled in her position ‚?? a couple of years ago, she was one of the runner ups that they considered for teacher of the year in Pennsylvania. She works hard, does things well and has had a lot of heartache in her life in the past. Through all that, she had done things well.‚?Ě
To have your love story or special anniversary considered for a feature in an upcoming edition of The Abington Journal, send name, contact info, anniversary date and details to Editor Kristie Ceruti, kgrier@theabington journal.com, call 585.1604, visit the Abington Journal, 211 S. State Street, Clarks Summit, PA 18411.