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Don and Sherry Downard, married July 10, 1999

With Daughters Melissa Carey and Melanie Peterson

I had asked my mom many times why she didn't remove the photo of me and Dale since he and I split years ago. Her reply was "Because I keep forgetting about it."

Since mom was going to replace the photo with another anyway, I've included one of my boyfriend, Richard, and I on top of the Omni Royal Hotel, near the Mississippi River in New Orleans instead. Her last bit of advice to me before she died was "If you love him, marry him if it will make you happy. And ignore anyone who says otherwise."

Before my mom died, we decided that we would go through with the wedding early for my mom's sake. It will be official on June 7, 2003, when the final papers will be signed and a full reception held.

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