July 10, 2004,
Marriage vow renewal of Rocco Thomas Valenzano & Michele Ann Patterson, Ceremony performed by Rev. Arlene
Witnessed by Dick Birdsall (and his wife Prilla in
her heart, yet in her absence), of South Egremont,
The summer breezes of the mountain resonated the presence
of a Revolutionary War veteran long since fallen;
as the wedding of his namesake on these lands when in centuries past
were ancestral homes of the bride.
The wind for a brief moment, even if only in imagination,
seemed able to carry his voice to her -
“Dear great-granddaughter of mine,as you are now so once was I….
Who do you present and request in the name of God
be eternally within the wing of our heraldy?" - he inquired.
“A knight…." she answered.
“A knight?!"” he questioned her - "I see no suit of armor, no blade of steel, no steed on which to mount and display his chivalry and yet you name him a knight. Define for me if you will your characterization of a knight?” he requested of her.
She replied ….. "At the hour of his most excruciating pain his only concern is my comfort. When brought to his knees only undeserving forgiveness will he extend. He possesses strength where I have none and his conscience of loyalty and truth are unwavering. His bravery and valor has sustained him through the heavily guarded depths that lead to the core of my heart. He can exorcise ghosts that haunt me and rescue me from myself, the most wicked demon of all. He receives little recognition and expects none. Only my presence he considers his just reward.”
“Selfish, saintly demands you require. Such that even a knight in shinning
armor would find difficulty rising to” her fifth great grandfather chastised her. Yet he sighed and continued, "However, such acts I have silently witnessed. By the hand he led you through the forest on the lands I once trod. Alone you would have felt lost, loneliness and fear. All of this was removed by the guidance of his hand. His knowledge, commitment and compassion found you my place of rest. Such as you trust in him, he will forever find your way. A most honorable addition to our family…. - In the name of God, so be it."”
Raising his voice he sternly yet affectionately asked of her,
"To whom do you raise this family’s chaliceand condemn your knight in shinning armor?"
She simply replied .... "My husband."
“ Make their life together a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world,
that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt,
and joy conquer despair - “
Authored by Michele Ann (Patterson) Valenzano born 1969, Descendant of (5th great-granddaughter)
written for & read to her husband Rocco Thomas Valenzano, dubbed
Sir Rocco of
at the renewal of their wedding vows at the Unitarian Church
of Christ in