The Wedding of Leslie Nicole Coffman and Michael Joseph Rossello
The Wedding of Leslie Nicole Coffman and Michael Joseph Rossello, Jr.
March 31, 2007 - The Historic Thatched Cottage, Centerport, New York
Marryin' Sam (AKA CCRWH) made another foray onto Long Island. Another confirmand, eleven years after her lessons, called last fall to see if the retired pastor was available the Saturday before Palm Sunday. The bride and groom and the pastor and his bride of fifty-one years met in Port Jefferson in January, before the big freeze set in, to get reacquainted and plan the wedding. The ferry service from Bridgeport to Port Jeff came in handy a second time, on the day of the wedding. The weather not only cooperated, it positively charmed, especially since the nuptials were conducted at a gazebo at shore's edge, with the sun streaming down.
Leslie Coffman is the daughter of Richard and Susan Coffman. Rich has been a Village of Valley Stream Trustee for a decade. Leslie is a public school teacher in Astoria. Her groom, Michael Joseph Rossello, Jr., son of Michael J. and Daryl A. Rossello, is a policeman in Astoria. Dad is a retired NYC fireman. Mom is school secretary at Shaw Avenue elementary school in Valley Stream. Leslie and Mike met at Memorial J H S and have been sweethearts ever since. Following a honeymoon (not in Bimini!) they will reside at 182 E. Carpenter Street, Valley Stream.
Herewith is the message given the young lovers during the wedding service:
Hello, young lovers… for a long, long time… from junior high days, no less. You found each other early and we pray that you will continue to love each other late.
When we met earlier in Port Jefferson to plan for this moment, I asked you, Michael, “Why Leslie?” Without hesitation, as if you had thought about it before, and you probably had, you replied: “Leslie, because I cannot imagine spending my life with anyone else?” Leslie didn’t say, “Me, too!” She didn’t have to. The tears of sentiment welling up in her eyes said it for her.
Hold each other to that conviction, that life is in the sharing, true, true, and the one you want to share it with first and foremost is… Leslie… Michael.
Maybe you remember the Biblical story about Adam and Eve. Adam lived in paradise with almost everything he could ever need or want, beautiful scenery, warmth in the day and cool in the evening, delicious and nutritious fruit from the Tree of Life. Everything. But no one with whom to share his life. The animals were paraded before him; but not even the cutest little puppy could make up for the deficiency. Until God put Adam to sleep, took the best part of him, a rib nearest his heart, and made Eve, bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh. And he loved her. She loved him. Though they didn’t exactly live happily ever after, they did go through life hand in hand, helping, holding each other, making the most of their time, halving the sorrows, doubling the joys.
Michael, with your expressed desire to share life with Leslie, and she with you, you are affirming God’s purpose, by which we have each other for love and for joy.
When the next generation comes;; when you get to be a detective and you a tenured teacher; when you vacation in Bimini; when you help the children with their homework; when you teach junior how to throw a curve and sister how to ride a bike; when, in other words, you experience the day to day details of living together, and learn to take as much satisfaction in the chores of married life as in the trip to Bimini, you will taste the eternal purpose God gave to Adam and Eve long, long ago.
One final observation, from the fellow who taught you, Leslie, your confirmation lessons. I had you memorize some of the verses which I just read, from I Corinthians 13, the “love chapter.” I also led you in a study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Both speak of our love for each other, undergirded and encouraged by the love of God, supremely in the cross of our Lord; the necessity, no, the expectation of God, that we shall, in golden terms, treat others the way we want to be treated, give ourselves freely and happily to each other, holding little back. Take that love into your home, to your dining table, in your living room, the bedroom too. Oh, it isn’t always easy… I can tell you with nearly fifty-two years of trying; but, if you will listen to God and God’s will for your lives, you will love truly, deeply, and for ever.
God bless you, young lovers. We bless you too.
As soon as the benediction was pronounced, the wedding party and guests recessed from the gazebo. Immediately waiters appeared with a special treat. Mashed potatoes in cocktail glass, would you believe? The party continued on into the early evening. The best man toasted, the groom sang, and everyone had a great time.
Had I been asked I would have offered this parting prayer for Leslie and Michael:
God ever near, ever loving, ever strong, ever insistent on doing with us whatever is best, we stand before you in this hour of celebration to invite you to join with us, to hear our songs and laughter as a prayer of joy for the gift of life and the presence, especially here, with Leslie and Michael, lots of love. Surround them in the days ahead with your protecting arms, and let them be our arms. Give them a surplus of good things, and let the gifts be from us. Open before them a world full of opportunities to make it a better place, and let them do it with us. And write upon our hearts, each of us, your commandments that we may fulfill your will with gladness. That this afternoon may be as filled with good promises as with friendly conversation, delicious food, and kind thoughts for two young lovers. We ask it in the name of him who was no stranger to wedding receptions, who made the wine flow, who makes himself known to us in our exchanges of love, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior. Amen.