Written By Jennifer L. Grazioso
Love at first sight? Not this time. However, this is a love that is priceless. A true fairy-tale romance.
I had the absolute privilege to interview Faye Roeber, widow of David Roeber, July 14, 2015.
I met Faye Mackres when she moved here from Greece with her family in her freshman year of high school. Her school counselor paired her schedule up with David Roeber. Faye also joined cross country, of which David also was a team member.
When asked was it love at first sight? Faye replied, “No, he would tease me.”
As time progressed, David became smitten with Faye. Back in the day, teenagers didn’t have all the modern conveniences, such as text messaging, instead they wrote notes, folded all fancy, passing them in the hallway between classes.
One special day, David passed a note to Faye on February 20, 1986 in Social Studies. “Faye, will you go out with me? I would have asked you awhile ago but I never got up enough nerve and I didn’t know what you would say,” wrote David.
Faye said dating David was very difficult since her parents didn’t approve of it at this age. However, with the help of some friends (including me) she managed to see David. Many memorable dates included the movies and roller skating. They saw a movie, Mannequin, which included her favorite song by Starships “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now”.
This song held true for many years, because Faye and David did many things and nothing did stop them.
They lived in Brooklyn, New York while Faye finished her degree in Architecture and David completed his degree in law school.
After they both finished school they decided to celebrate by taking a trip to Paris. During which David proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower on November 3, 1993. David and Faye were married on May 26, 1996, in a tradition Greek wedding at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Toms River with a lovely reception to follow at Pine Manor in Edison. They honeymooned throughout Europe.
David and Faye traveled quite extensively. While on a trip to the French Riviera they had $50.00 a day to spend. Since Faye graduated with a degree in architecture she wanted to see all these points on the map. David on the other hand just wanted to explore and assured Faye they would find it. And sure enough without the map or GPS; no fancy gadgets or phones, they did see it all!
“While in Monte Carlo, being such young kids, just 24/25 years old, no money and in this beautiful port with all these boats. Realizing how big the world is…life was good,” Faye expressed.
Rome was one of their favorites especially all the little cafes. They enjoyed just stopping to have a cup of coffee and taking in the atmosphere.
They visited Greece every summer and it produced their most cherished memories. First, by themselves and then with all the boys, exploring the Greek islands.
While both were engulfed in their work, David, age 25, working for Pfizer on 42nd Street for insurance litigation and Faye, age 26, on 5th Avenue at BBG Architects for a hotel chain, Faye started to feel dizzy and made a doctor’s appointment. Now who can get a parking spot in NY–no one! So, David drove around and Faye headed up to the appointment and discovered the best news ever! She was pregnant with their first child. She called David and didn’t let on to the news. Faye saw a Barnes and Noble across the street and quickly ducked in to purchase a book, “How to Be a Good Dad”. As soon as she got in the car, she handed it to David and he was so surprised.
“I thought you said you were just dizzy!” exclaimed David.
Faye shared, “We were ready to have a family and so excited!”
With this wonderful news they decided to move back to Forked River, closer to both of their families. While pregnant Faye and David opened up the Forked River House, which they successfully owned and operated for six years.
“He knew what he wanted, he didn’t mind working hard for it,” Faye shared.
David worked extremely hard as an attorney in Forked River, New Jersey. He often helped others without payment.
He was always available for friends and family to help around the house. When neighbors were away, he would cut their grass.
Their first child and the first grandchild of the family, George, was born on June 11, 1998.
They sold the restaurant since the stress was immense and led to infertility. They headed to Greece to a monastery. It is believed that by visiting the monastery with your husband, each sleeping in separate rooms, pregnancy will follow. Soon after, Faye and David were blessed with their second child, Thomas. And very soon after, their third child, Evan.
David was so proud of his family. He truly enjoyed to be with his family.
His most important accomplishment were his boys…he loved to be at home completing projects. He built a tree house, a bridge over the pond, a chicken coup, and so many others.
David had a such patience for teaching others as well. He taught George, Thomas and Evan how to ski as well as many friends. He loved skiing. During the winter, he would take the boys one day a week. It was his way of de-stressing from work, but more importantly spending time with his family.
Ironically, David shared, “If I died now, I would be a happy man.”
“Every night he would call before coming home from work to find out if I needed anything?” Faye said.
Faye misses the advice, the guidance, and the reassurance from her spouse. She misses his kind soul.
This kind of simple kindness was so appreciated and missed immensely.
He was very supportive of Faye. “Faye, you can do the unthinkable, there’s nothing you can’t do,” David told her when it came to her dreams and goals in life.
When the doors shut at night and everyone is home and their lives goes on, it is for those who have lost a loved one that there are many challenges to endure. Yes, it gets a bit easier but the loss never goes away.
“The nights are brutal, knowing he won’t walk in the door for dinner,” Faye shares.
I asked Faye if there is one moment or memory that she can rely on to make her smile or laugh and she replied, “No”.
“The places I visit now with the boys like Camelback bring back great memories and I enjoy sharing with them,” Faye shares.
“The future is day by day. Taking care of my boys, college for George, keep going…”, Faye said.
“Even when your sharing your day with your spouse and you think they are not listening, they are still there beside you!” Faye advises.
Nowadays, it is very unusual to marry your high school sweetheart. Most teenagers don’t have the conversations or interactions like the generations before. Since, the cell phone most interaction takes place via text message with emojis.
Words are a beautiful thing…especially when spoken.
“I don’t have his voice to hear, I have videos, but no recoding of his voice and I miss hearing him,” says Faye.
When we are too wrapped up in our devices and not talking with others a lot gets lost. Take a minute to say hello, ask how someone is, express how much you love them. Believe me it is important.
Finding love is rare especially true love.