This phrase is prominently displayed in the home of Marty Wisher and David Baker. Theirs is a love story that many often dream may come true.
David is a highly decorated Lieutenant Commander (retired) with the Royal Australian Navy, who received a Medal of the Order of Australia Military title bequeathed by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. In addition to serving his own country for 44 years, he also served at the request of the United States military. But his permanent home was always “Down Under.”
Marty, an artist who has trained in both Florida and Minnesota, grew up an Air Force brat, moving to a new area every couple of years. She has been a resident of Cape Coral for 25 years, owns Swan Studios Inc., Starlight Productions and just launched Glitterazzi Boutique.
In 2011, when David was stationed in Baghdad, he spent some time in one of Saddam Hussein’s many palaces. After noticing the faux marbling effect on the walls, he searched the internet to learn more about the technique. Swan Studios was one of his first options, so he emailed an inquiry to someone 14,000 miles away.
At the time, Marty had an assistant who typically answered email. On the day of David’s initial message, her assistant was out sick so Marty took care of business. Little did she know that answering that one email would be the key to finding her new husband.
David’s inquiries led to Marty’s answers and they got to know each other via email conversations. He even sent her links to articles confirming his identity and legitimacy of his claims. A year later in 2012, they met in Palm Springs, California. “That moment I met him made everything else that’s happened in my life make sense…from the time I was a little girl,” Marty says. “I was finally at peace.”
Their week together in California turned into eight months when David took an extended leave. He was nearing mandatory retirement age and decided, “I’m calling it a day.” Marty is quick to point out, “While I was wishing he’d choose that option, I never asked.” He opted to drastically change the only life he’d ever known: leaving the military and leaving all his family in Australia, choosing the U.S. as his new home with his “I Dream of Jeannie” beauty.
On Valentine’s Day in 2013, Marty and David exchanged gifts over breakfast. That night, at a romantic dinner at the Twisted Vine in Fort Myers, she found it strange that he seemed to be shaking and was repeatedly asking if she needed to go to the ladies room. When she had no need of the facilities, he finally offered up a small box. What she thought was a new Pandora bead was instead a diamond ring that left her dazed and speechless. Once she realized he’d been proposing to her in her diamond stupor, of course, the answer was YES!
Her parents, who are stationed in Qatar in the Middle East, met David via Skype. David and Marty traveled to Australia to meet his family. His mother’s observation was, “This is the happiest I’ve ever seen him!” David’s former military co-workers also saw the change in him remarking, “We’ve never seen him like this.” Since they couldn’t have all their family with them for a wedding, they opted to elope on April 24, 2014, where they exchanged their own vows.
The few hurdles they’ve experienced are attributed to the differences of the English language versus American interpretation, like the day he was taking a friend to the beach in Australia wearing his “thongs.” Marty was in the U.S. working and nearly panicking, when David added, “I think you call them something else.” That’s when she realized he was referring to “flip-flops.”
Do they have recommendations for others searching for love? “You CAN get it right the second or third time around,” David explains. Marty goes into a little more detail. “Be open to what God has for you. David was on the other side of the world, and we found each other.” As a result of their situation, she will often encourage friends in relationships that aren’t working out, “You need to cast a wider net,” because she never would’ve dreamed of landing an Aussie.
Above their bed is posted You are my happily ever after. And anyone who knows them knows without a doubt it is a true statement!