May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
And may true be the hearts that love you.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you be poor in misfortune and rich in blessings,
And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
Dennis wasn’t expecting to meet the love of his life that night at the Hard Luck Saloon. He was just meeting a couple of his buddies for a cold-one after work. When he locked eyes with Joannie – it was love at first sight.
After 16 years of house renovations, rescuing Greyhounds and enjoying nights with friends at the Hard Luck Saloon, Dennis and Joannie are taking it one day at a time. Over the last year, Dennis’ health has declined. Radiation from Dennis’ throat cancer in 1995 has caused health complications. Joannie has been his rock and compassionate caregiver through it all.
This past winter, Dennis and Joannie decided to get married. Just a few months later, the global pandemic, COVID-19, caused their plans to halt. During months of quarantine, Dennis’ health continued to decline. COVID-19 and Dennis’ changing health didn’t alter their plans of getting married.
Joannie and Dennis were talking with the St. Croix Hospice Council Bluffs Chaplin, Lisa, about their dream to get married and the plans that needed to be established to accomplish that. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and Joannie being Dennis’ main caregiver, it was overwhelming. That’s when Lisa made a call to Dreamweaver Foundation for help to make Dennis’ dream come true.
The community came together to ensure Joannie and Dennis had a beautiful wedding ceremony. Due to the uncertainly of COVID-19 and Dennis’ health, it’s not safe for him to be out of the house at this time, so that meant a notary must come to the house to notarize their marriage application for the state and county. Bev Fischer from Every Step Hospice graciously partnered with us to notarize the future Hesse’s marriage application.
Planning began as soon as the paperwork was filed. Finding the perfect dress, timeless decorations, an unforgettable meal and a delicious cake were all on the to-do list. Everything came together without a hitch to get them hitched!
After 16 years, their wedding day was here. The couple was separated leading up to the ceremony. Both were excitedly nervous. Ashley from Dreamweaver Foundation along with Patty from St. Croix Hospice and Amber from Amber Rae Photography decorated the porch Dennis built just a few years ago. It was the perfect spot to exchange vows as Dennis and Joannie spent many nights sitting on that porch dreaming of their future. Dennis anxiously awaited his bride as Joannie walked down the aisle to her future husband. They instantly locked eyes and embraced each others hands. Carol from I Tie The Knots officiated the ceremony that reflected their true unconditional love.
“Joannie, I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife.
I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.
I love you just as you are, with all your faults and strengths,
and I offer myself to you with all my faults and strengths.
I will help you when you need it,
and I will turn to you when I need help.”
Amber Rae Photography captured special moments, sweet glances and of course, their first kiss. The photographs will be cherished memories. After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with a champagne toast and dinner from LongHorn Steakhouse.
Congrats, Dennis and Joannie!
Joannie shared with Dreamweaver Foundation, “I simply can’t come up with a way to thank you that is worthy of the deed. Today would never have happened if not for your organization. We would have gotten married, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as special as the way you made it. In my book, you hit it out of the park today. We can’t thank you enough. The happiest I ever saw Dennis, was the day we got married. All the money in the world can’t buy that. I will never forget that, and you made it happen.”
This day wouldn’t have been possible without the community coming together. Dreamweaver Foundation would like to thank Lisa and Patty from St. Croix Hospice, Beverly from Every Step Hospice, Carol from I Tie The Knots, Amber from Amber Rae Photography, Hy-Vee and LongHorn Steakhouse.