Marcia divorced her first husband the same year now husband, Mark, had married his first wife. Though, uninterested in dating, Marcia had been urged by a friend who attended a divorce support group to meet a guy she thought was perfect for Marcia.
Finally obliging to her friend’s request, Marcia attended the support group, and much to her surprise found the man who would change her outlook on dating.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Marcia said. “He walked in the door, I remember what he was wearing, I stopped (my friend) in mid-sentence, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, WHO is that?’ And she said, ‘That’s the guy I’ve been trying to get you to come here and meet.’”
“I get that a lot at the mall, too. It drives me crazy,” Mark joked.
After talking for a while, it was Marcia who asked Mark to go out on their first date, and in a similar fashion, two years later, she asked Mark to marry her.
“I tell people to this day, we’ve been married almost 19 years, and we’d probably still be dating,” Marcia said. “(Mark) was just real slow, real cautious. It had been two years, and I thought, I’m not getting any younger, would really like to be married some day, really love this guy but if this isn’t going anywhere, then kind of need to move on.”
One day, before Mark was to lead his youth group at church, Marcia walked into his office with a look of severity. “I said, ‘Mark, it’s time to fish or cut bait,’” she said. “And he looked at me, knew what I was talking about, and he said, ‘Do I have some time to think about this?’”
Mark sat on the idea for three days, and then returned with his answer: “I needed some time to really decide and I felt like there was some kind of divine inspiration or influence that was encouraging me to say you need to look at the last couple years of your life, what this woman’s presence in your life has done, and you’d just be stupid not to have her in your life forever,” he said.
On May 8, 1993, the couple married in a non-traditional wedding and hosted a casual, potluck reception on a pig farm with volleyball, hay rides and two roasted pigs.
After their wedding, Mark and Marcia then looked to become more involved in ministry.
In 1995, Mark founded EDGE Outreach, an international organization that provides training and equipment to individuals looking to address water quality and sanitation issues in developing countries and post-disaster environments.
“We just felt like we needed to be a part of a non-profit that was investing in mission work and young people,” Mark said.
Outside of EDGE, Mark and Marcia spend time with their treeing walker coonhound named Jaz, and as of last year, became both parents and grandparents in the course of one day.
“We did about a year of respite work off and on with (a girl named Angel),” Mark said. “We were her 17th or 18th home. She came to live with us and so we were together for awhile, she went to college, but before she left to go to college she said, ‘I want to call you all mom and dad and I want your name.’ So that’s pretty serious when you want Hogg for a last name, right?”
However, soon after, Angel packed up and left without notice for six years while Mark and Marcia struggled with the decision to contact her.
“She got in touch with us a little over a year ago, and she said, ‘Hey it’s Angel, and I want to be family again, and by the way I’ve got a five-year-old daughter named Isabella,’” Mark said. “So all the sudden we’re Mom and Dad and Nana and Grandpa in one phone call. We’ve been seeing each other for over a year now. We’ve got this five-year-old granddaughter that just lights the frickin’ world up.”
Mark is so devoted to his role as grandpa, now, that he shocked Marcia one day when he left work before a meeting at EDGE so he could read “Hop on Pop” over the phone with Isabella. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s finally happened,’” Marcia said. “There’s something more important than (work)! That’s great.”
But, Mark and Marcia have no shortage of passion for their work at EDGE and Louisville, which has become a home away from home for both Mark, originally from Birmingham, and Marcia, from Michigan.
“We’re able to be who we are in the community of people that we’re involved in,” Mark said. “I never knew what community was until I ended up at Louisville. So many people care about us as a couple and our family. I do not feel alone at all in this great place in Louisville.”
“I think a lot of times we go through life with a partner trying to change the things we don’t like about them and kind of forgetting the things that we really love about them,” Marcia said. “His way is not the wrong way; it’s his way.”
“Don’t get your wife a goat for her first Christmas present,” Mark jokingly advised of a past gift to Marcia.
Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).