Michael was praying for God to help him find the woman who would be the love of his life, and in his prayers, the 52-year-old from New York was making himself available to go anywhere on earth. God took him up on it, and sent him to Australia.
It was Michael’s birthday and the greetings were coming in. One emotigram came from Rosemary, a 49-year-old from Tasmania. Her charming emote wished him birthday greetings “from a lassie in Tassie.”
There was no thought of an international romance—just the thought that no harm ever came from saying hello—that led Mike to respond, and for the next five months he and Rosemary got to know each other online through messages and chats.
“We realized we were finding each other more and more interesting,” Rosemary recalled. “Finally we shared an e-mail where questions were asked and answered and we decided we needed to meet.”
Any long-distance relationship brings its own set of challenges, and those are multiplied when one goes global, so perhaps it was ironic that Rosemary’s visit Stateside began with her stepping off the plane and into a snowstorm. But the snowstorm and the ensuing trip were symbolic in another way—it established that if the couple made it past the difficulties, something special was on the other side.
“We met, held hands…looked at each other’s faces for the first time,” Rosemary told CatholicMatch. “I stayed a short 14 days but it was long enough to confirm that we loved each other and wanted to be together for the rest of our lives.”
Mike came to Australia, to spend time meeting Rosemary’s family and friends, and also flew her and her daughter out to New York again so the teenage girl could see where her new home would be.
The process that Rosemary called “The Immigration Journey” last 14 months, and struggle was part of the package. From Skype not always being consistent, to pricey phone calls and exorbitant airline costs—they continued to travel back and forth—Mike and Rosemary paid the price for happiness. “We both know that it strengthened us, Rosemary says. “We’ve conquered this, we can conquer anything.”
Today they are married and settled into their new lives. A lot of prayer, including a yearlong novena, went into finding the right person and a lot of work went into making it possible. “But we have made it,” Rosemary concluded, “and we still thank God and all the saints for the joy of being together daily for the rest of our lives.”