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On St. Pat’s Day she lost her jacket and found her true love

Keith and Emily Foster of Sag Harbor on

Keith and Emily Foster of Sag Harbor on their wedding day in July 2017. Credit: Foster family

Emily Foster of Sag Harbor recalls the lucky day she met her future husband, Keith.

In May 2015, I graduated from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, and moved back home to Sag Harbor. That November, I began working as a teller at Bridgehampton National Bank. I was 22 and very happy being single.

The following March, my co-workers and I went to the Hampton Bays St. Patrick’s Day parade and afterward to Doran’s Irish pub nearby. While there, I misplaced my jacket. One man offered to help me look for it. We found the jacket and started talking. I told him my name was Emily Butts. He said he was Keith Foster.

Keith, who was 28, had arrived in Hampton Bays the day before from Bray, Ireland. He was here on a work visa as an irrigation technician for a local landscaper. He was so sweet and endearing, a very caring person. We talked until midnight and made plans to meet the following weekend.

The next day I told my parents I had met the man I would marry. They believed me since I had never said anything like that before and soon invited Keith over for dinner so they could meet him.

We continued seeing each other and, before we knew it, it was December and he had to return to Ireland for three months before reapplying for another visa. I was dreading being apart from him, but he said, “Come to Ireland with me.”

With my parents’ encouragement, I took an unpaid month’s leave from work and followed him there in January. We stayed with his mother for a week in Bray, where I met his family. We then traveled through Scotland and back to Ireland. Our last adventure was to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. We woke up that day expecting rain, but found the weather sunny and unseasonably warm. At the Cliffs, Keith insisted on going off-path for the “perfect spot.” I was covered in mud by the time we found it. Once there, he asked me to marry him. I wasn’t expecting it at all. He timed it perfectly, because 10 minutes later the clouds rolled in and it began to rain. Keith had the engagement ring all during the trip. Before leaving Long Island, he told my parents about his plans to propose to me. I went back home and Keith returned to Long Island in March.

We wanted a November wedding, but Keith’s new visa was to expire around that time. We hurried to get the necessary immigration documents together and, on July 22, 2017, Keith’s birthday, we had a small ceremony on the beach in Sag Harbor with only my family in attendance.

Keith’s family recently visited from Ireland and met my family for the first time over dinner at Il Cappuccino restaurant in Sag Harbor. The next day we held a backyard party with them and friends to celebrate our marriage.

I’m still at the bank and Keith continues to work with Summerhill Landscapes. We are saving to buy a house so our future children can follow in the footsteps of five generations of my family who have called Sag Harbor their home.

I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I hadn’t met and married Keith. He is the most patient and devoted person, and our relationship is full of love and laughter.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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