Patricia Hanniffy of Merrick recalls a cousin's role in bringing her and her future husband, Patrick, together.
The next morning, as I was getting ready for work, Maureen told me about this nice Irish fellow who was working on her roof. He was from County Offaly, Ireland. She wanted me to meet him.
Well, a few minutes later Patrick arrived. I remember he had a beautiful tan and lovely blue eyes. He was 24, and I was 23. We only spoke a few minutes as he was very shy and I had a train to catch.
I called Maureen from work, and she said Patrick asked for my phone number. I told her it was OK to give it to him. Actually, I wasn't even thinking of meeting anyone as I had plans to take a trip to Ireland, England and Scotland for three weeks in September with my girlfriends.
Patrick called and asked me out on a date. That summer my parents were renting a house in Mastic Beach. Since I was working in Manhattan, I was staying behind in Brooklyn during the week and driving out there on weekends. I called my parents to say I wouldn't be coming out because I had a date.
He took me to see "Gone With the Wind." We continued dating, and a couple of weeks later we went to Mastic so he could meet my parents. We spent a few weekends out there that summer.
When it was time to leave for my three-week trip, I knew I would miss him. He gave me his ring to wear to show that he was serious about our relationship. I thought of him all the time while I was away, and I drove my girlfriends nuts talking about him. After I returned, our relationship got even stronger.
Our wedding was on Aug. 5, 1972, at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Flatbush. He is my best friend, my lover and a wonderful father.
This year we celebrated our 40th anniversary with a family dinner, followed by a cruise to New England and Canada and then a trip to Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster, Pa., a gift from our two wonderful daughters and son-in-law. We have spent 40 amazing years together and look forward to the next chapter in our marriage.
Patrick was a software engineer with IBM until 2007 and now works part time as a driver for the Association for Children with Down Syndrome, in Plainview. I am a licensed real estate appraiser and worked for Nassau County as a real property tax specialist until 2011. We built a second home back in County Offaly, where Patrick's father and siblings still live.
Maureen, who was my maid of honor, takes credit as our matchmaker, and my niece, my junior bridesmaid, likes to tell people that when her aunt and uncle met it was "Love on a Rooftop."