Watch CBSN Live

Big Break For One Who's Gotten Few

Meet two special people, Deborah and Darryl Webster, whose love and support for each other has carried them through some rough times.

In the first installment of this Week of Wishes series, they tell their heartfelt story on The Early Show, along with their three beautiful children.

The Websters' love story started out like an American fairy tale.

"I was coming home from a football game at high school and I had on a pair of jeans and my school sweater (on our first date)," says Deborah. "Darryl had on a trench coat, a suit."

Her husband says, "She was my first date and became my first and one and only girlfriend. And I don't know. Maybe I had this 'Leave It To Beaver' type of thinking that on a first date, you wear a suit, a tie, and a jacket."

High school sweethearts, they've now been married 20 years.

"I knew right away when I met her because she was so beautiful and she still is. I fell in love with her from the first time I met her," says Darryl.

But while the love is strong, it hasn't always been easy. Deborah remembers, "We've endured some stressful situations...overcome some tremendous obstacles."

Growing up in what was one of Washington D.C.'s worst neighborhoods, Deborah and Darryl developed a strong sense of priorities.

"When we went out into the neighborhood and we were surrounded by the drugs, by the peer pressure to not succeed, we went back to homes where our parents told us not to get involved in that," says Darryl.

And that is the kind of home they struggle to create for their own children -- in the very same house Darryl grew up in.

It's a home where the support of family extends to the surrounding community.

Darryl is a social worker in a school for disabled children. Last year, the whole Webster family spent spring break refinishing the school's gym floor.

But even the best of intentions can backfire. Deborah forgot to cover her mouth while they sanded.

"A week after that I was walking around in the grocery store and I kept feeling these chest pains. First it was five minutes. Then it moved up to two minutes. So I was getting kind of scared," Deborah says.

Her lung had collapsed.

"I remember that day like I remember September the 11th. It's just etched in my mind," says Darryl.

The recovery was slow and Deborah could not be the kind of mother she was used to being, especially for then eight-month-old Taylor.

"It was heartbreaking, because she was crying for me and I couldn't hold her," says Deborah.

Deborah sank into a deep depression, one that she is just starting to come out of.

"I was in a state of shock and it was just me, alone in the world. Just me alone. I mean, I had my kids and family around me, but still, it just seemed like I was just dealing with things all by myself."

"I felt bad because I know with her feeling down, she just didn't feel like there was anything special about her. And there's a lot special about my wife," says Darryl.

"She's a great mom. She's a great wife. And I just wanted her to know that there's something good in the world and there's a lot good in her. And I want the world to know that."

Here is a excerpt from the letter Darryl sent to The Early Show:

My name is Darryl Webster. I wish that my wife could have a special weekend of rest and relaxation and receive a makeover.

Throughout our lives, I felt life treated her as the ugly stepsister in Cinderella. Other people got all of the breaks and opportunities while she got none.

I will never forget the look on my wife's face when doctors told her a hole in her lung had caused it to collapse -- utter horror. I felt terrible not being able to take away my wife's pain.

I want my wife to smile that beautiful smile again. I want her to experience one of those magical happy sweet moments that randomly are bestowed on a lucky few in life.

I want her to know life isn't all bad, despite all the adversity she's gone through. She is a truly deserving of a wish come true.

Even the best parents need a break, so The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith introduces Jennifer Cabasag from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

As she says aloha and puts flower leis on Deborah and Darryl, Jennifer says, "The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, in conjunction with American Airlines, is honored to present the two of you with a fabulous five-day vacation package in beautiful Hawaii."

This vacation includes:

  • Five-nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
  • Use of an Alamo Rental Car
  • Dinner for two at Cafe Ciao at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
  • Hawaiian Luau for two provided by Diamondhead vacations
  • Passes to the Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea Resort
  • In addition, the Maui Visitors Bureau will provide a number of activities.

    Tom Gleason of American Airlines Vacations joined in the fun, presenting an oversized plane ticket to the Websters.

    Let's not leave the kids out -- because they have been such troopers through their mom's illness.

    The Websters' three beautiful children, 14-year-old Christian, 10-year-old Tiffany, and two-year-old Taylor each receive three $500 gift certificates from Toys "R" Us.

    Kelly Cullen, Senior Public Relations Manager, presented them with the gift certificates.

    Stay tuned for more on our Week of Wishes series.

  • View CBS News In
    CBS News App Open
    Chrome Safari Continue