For Mary and Brian Roach, Valentine’s Day is just another day in February. They’ve been married for almost 34 years, and juggling a large family can sometimes get a little hectic. But with the holiday just around the corner, the North Wantagh couple still finds the time to let each other know how much they care.
“We met in a bar in Levittown, and it was called the Family Lounge, ironically enough,” recalled Mary. “And I never thought it was going to add up to anything, because he was my brother’s best friend. I just went out with my friends for a drink, not really expecting to meet anyone.”
Although Brian, 63, who was born in Wantagh, and Mary, 61, a Seaford native, had known each other for a long time through family ties, they never thought they would ever tie the knot. But after less than a year of dating, the two were married on May 22, 1982.
“She was very pretty and easy to have a conversation with,” Brian recalled. “Within the year, I just knew she was the one.”
The couple decided to wed in the month of May because it was the Month of Mary, and spring is always a good time for a wedding. “I knew it had to mean something good!” Mary said.
Although the Roaches always pictured having a large family, handling it all was sometimes stressful. While Mary stayed at home with the kids, Brian worked long hours as an assistant manager for a ceramic tile manufacturer. It wasn’t until later on, when the kids were grown, that she took a job in consumer affairs for Nassau County.
“We always wanted kids, but never expected five,” Mary said with a laugh. “We worked hard to provide for our children, and Brian was such a hard worker. Being home with the kids was a job in itself, but definitely a blessing.”
This Valentine’s Day, the Roaches have decided to stay in and just enjoy each other’s company. “I just recently got a new engagement ring, because I wanted to give the stone to my oldest daughter, Dana,” Mary said. “And on our 25th anniversary, Brian gave me a three-stone eternity ring that represented the past, present and future. It was cute — he asked me to marry him all over again on the beach.”