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Sharon and Randy Sjogren - A story of second chances, faith and love

Jun 27, 2021 01:14AM ● By Editor
Photos submitted and by Boreal Community Media

Exclusive to Boreal Community Media - June 27, 2021

If anyone had told Randy Sjogren 18 months ago how the course of his life would be changing, he likely would have just shook his head with that familiar grin on his face.  He had just buried Carolyn, his beloved wife of almost 50 years.  For the first time since his early years in life, he found himself alone without his best friend at his side.  

Sharon, living in Apple Valley, was learning to live life on her own after leaving an abusive marriage that she had been in for 41 years.  During that time, she suffered both physical and emotional abuse before finally getting the strength and courage to leave her marriage and begin building a new life on her own.   Her son, who is an attorney, helped Sharon with getting an order for protection from her then-husband.   She stayed with family until she got back on her feet.  Never did she imagine how a knock on her door 8 years later would soon change her life.

You see, Randy and Sharon had known each other many, many years ago and had even double-dated with their former spouses.  Randy and Sharon’s ex-husband had worked together for years at Dakota Electric in Farmington.  Sharon and Carolyn had been friends.  Sharon is a Registered Nurse who had helped Carolyn and Randy with many of their medical questions related to Carolyn’s health as it began to fail many years ago due to Alzheimer’s disease.


And the story of fate begins.  In April of 2020, Randy was scheduled to go to the Minnesota Zoo with some family members.  Due to the pandemic, plans got changed and Randy found himself in Apple Valley wondering about a friend from long ago in his life and how she was doing.  A visit to the floral department in Cub Foods set the chain of events into action.  Randy shared a letter that he wrote to his family later in April, 2020, asking for their blessing in welcoming Sharon into their lives:

Dear Family,

I took a small trip to Apple Valley in the a.m. to visit Emily, Ben and the grandkids.  I miss them all.  But they feared the virus so they cancelled.  So I went shopping at one of my many halfway houses - greenhouses and nurseries….½ way to heaven.  I stayed overnight in one of our favorite hotels - same rate for 11 years.  In the a.m., Robert Jeffers was preaching on a new beginning (divine movement #1).  

So armed with inspiration, a secret plan, and God’s guidance, I’m off to buy flowers to prepare the way for my little speech with fear and trembling like a little boy waiting to talk to the new neighbor girl.  

Deb in the Cub Foods flower department laid my heart bare with many questions and found out my secret.  Deb, I said, you are the only one on this planet that knows of this dream (almost too sweet of a dream).  I swore her to secrecy and she promised.  Flowers in hand on my way to the van, I thought to return to give Deb a tip.  She refused by saying it would hurt her by taking away from her kind intentions.  She had wrapped the flowers extra special for someone extra special and had said a prayer for “us” when I left the 1st time that God would guide and direct our decisions in this possible “new beginning” (divine appointment #2)

Stalling, I went shopping at Fleet Farm and met an employee, a kind gentle grandpa.  Our spirits immediately connected.  He spoke of how wonderful life was in his “new beginning”, a second marriage.  He was overjoyed with God’s kindness and love with a new partner and friend.  I walked away crying (divine appointment #3).

Courage reignited, I headed toward a dream too sweet to dream.  Fear, buried by faith, brought me to her front door.  With flowers in hand, I knocked.  She opened the door, smiled, and her heart was mine (I wish).  I asked if we could sit on the deck and talk.  So on the deck of her new house facing the pond, sitting in the sunshine, we talked and talked as I courageously beat around the bush to share my secret.  And then I dared…”Sharon, would you ever consider a future with me?”  She says, “Well, yes, yes!  I am just overwhelmed and kind of speechless” (divine appointment #4).  

Both of our hearts rejoiced at our new beginning and God’s perfect timing.  Years of following our Lord seemed to join our spirits quickly and gently into natural goals of helping and blending each other’s ministries.  The next day, we shared breakfast, toured a greenhouse, had a picnic by a lake, and talked and cried over God’s goodness to us.  

Family, I cannot wait to introduce her.  You will love her kind, gentle, servant heart.  I was not going to tell anyone until the end of summer, but she couldn’t contain her joy.  She thought that she would always live alone and so did I.  Please welcome Sharon to our family!  

They did, by 100% in favor of our love!



That first “date”, they sat on Sharon’s deck for hours talking about life.  Randy asked her that night if she would consider spending her life with him.  Later that month he officially proposed to her at Minnehaha Falls.  Randy and Sharon exchanged vows in front of family and friends right on the greens of Putt n Pets Mini Golf on August 22, 2020.  They soon after left for a honeymoon out West.  

Not only did they gain each other, but their family grew as well.  Randy has four children:  three sons and a daughter.  Sharon has one son and one daughter.  Between their combined families, they share 21 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. 

Sharon said,  “I have always looked up to Randy.  I knew he was a good man with great faith.  I never lost my faith along the way.  I could not find anyone better.”   Randy and Sharon’s joy with each other and with life are clearly apparent.  Randy smiled and said, “What amazes me is that I was blessed with 50 years of marriage.  That alone is awesome.  God just keeps pouring it on. I can’t take any more blessings in my life!”.  When asked how they would celebrate their one year anniversary in August, they looked at each other, giggled and said maybe they would clean the golf course!


 





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