When she smiled, he was smitten


Sabrina Warren And Rodney Bush

November 21, 1999|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,Special to the Sun

On March 2, 1997, Rodney Bush went to Mass at St. Bernardine's Roman Catholic Church in Edmondson Village. Sitting with his sister Beverly, he noticed a pretty woman enter.

The woman found a seat a few pews in front of them and after sitting down, turned around to wave hello to Beverly, flashing a brilliant smile.

It was at that moment -- before he even knew her name or what she was like -- that Rodney Bush fell in love with Sabrina Warren.

"She has a smile that catches your eye very easily," Rodney says in his own defense. (He had never given his heart so quickly before.)

After Mass ended, Beverly introduced Rodney, a supervisor at Bethlehem Steel Corp., and Sabrina, a sen-ior vice president with the Chapman Co., a Baltimore investment banking firm. The introduction led to an extended conversation between the two. "We were standing there talking so long that everyone had left and the priest had even gone back in the rectory," Sabrina recalls, laughing.

Unwilling to part, they headed for a nearby diner for a cup of coffee. Lunch followed coffee, and after a long, leisurely meal, the newfound friends went to a record store and stayed for an hour or so, listening to music.

You might think that from that day forward, Rodney and Sabrina would be madly in love and live happily ever after. But as the old saying goes, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Though they had another date and Rodney was definitely smitten, Sabrina decided Rodney would make a better friend than boyfriend. At the time, she was very busy with business trips and projects at work.

She and Rodney continued to get together -- platonically -- while they also dated other people. Rodney even remembers sitting behind Sabrina and one of her boyfriends at church one Sunday.

As time passed, though, Sabrina realized how much she truly liked Rodney. "He was funny, he was smart and I really enjoyed being with him," she says. She talked often to her mother about Rodney and their friendship.

Finally, Nancy Warren had heard enough. "She said to me, 'Do you realize you're in love with him? You are. You have to stop lying to yourself and when you do, you have to tell him the truth, ' " Sabrina recalls.

In May 1998, Sabrina and Rodney began dating seriously. Though Sabrina hadn't told Rodney the real depth of her feelings, she knew she didn't want to watch him date other women any longer.

Rodney was cautious early on, afraid Sabrina might change her mind and want to be only friends again. "I was taking a chance no matter what I did," he says. "But Sabrina was someone I wanted to be with from the start, so I was willing to take that chance."

In a few months, they began discussing marriage. In July 1999, Rodney surprised Sabrina with a ring, proposing after church one Sunday on the exact spot outside St. Bernardine's where they had met.

On Nov. 6, Rodney, 44, and Sabrina, 41, were married at St. Bernardine's. Escorted by her parents, Carl and Nancy Warren of Lochearn, Sabrina walked down the church's long aisle and toward Rodney, offering him the same smile that had captured his heart.

Rodney's mother, Dolores Bush of Turners Station, sat among the 375 guests. From time to time, there was a murmured mention of Rodney's late father, Joseph Bush, a longtime church member.

When the Rev. Edward Miller said early in his homily, "It is a beautiful thing to marry two people who belong to the same church," nearly everyone nodded their heads in agreement.

And when the service was through, and Rodney and Sabrina were finally pronounced husband and wife, the words of a song sung earlier in the service seemed to hang in the air:

"This is not an ordinary love

But one ordained by God above. ... "

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