LEEDS — Mike and Anna Cyr had two gravely ill children who weren't expected to survive past childhood, but they made it. The couple marvel a bit that they made it, too.
In 29 years, they've had only three weekends away, just the two of them, including their honeymoon.
The last time, 12 years ago, was a camping trip that began with food poisoning.
Anna works during the day; Mike works nights.
And it's still love.
This summer, without Mike knowing, Anna videotaped a three-minute love letter to him and sent it to the The Talk's "Still the One" nationwide contest.
Last month, they won.
On Tuesday, the couple leaves for Las Vegas for a romantic getaway that includes a Shania Twain concert and renewing their vows. Details are sketchy on whether the ceremony will be performed onstage or will remain a private event. The Cyrs received the flight and hotel information from the TV show on Thursday.
Anna kept quiet about the videotape and didn't tell Mike until their anniversary in September.
"I thought it was very sweet of her," he said.
"He cried," she said. "We never win anything, ever — even when our odds are good. When we showed the video to all our friends, they said, 'You've got this.'"
Mike and Anna met in a dorm at New England College in New Hampshire in 1976. She grew up in Brunswick, he in Lewiston. In the summer of 1981, Mike survived a serious accident — he was thrown from a car and hit his head on the pavement, which put him into a two-week coma. With work and determination, he made a full recovery, and they married in 1983.
Their first daughter, Mallory, came two years later. She was eventually diagnosed with microvillus inclusion disease, a serious genetic intestinal disease.
"When Mal was born, everything hit the fan, big-time," Anna said.
Eight years later, daughter Maisy was born. She developed the same disease.
Now Mallory, 27, is an advocate for young people with disabilities and is attending grad school. Maisy, 19, is in college studying psychology, getting ready for a semester abroad in England.
"They're both doing really good," Anna said. "It's just exhausting to worry about them — and now one of them's crossing the ocean."
Mallory had encouraged her mother to enter "Still the One" and had run the camera for the winning video.
Promotional material for the contest included descriptions such as "a chance to be center stage at The Colosseum with Shania Twain." They're not entirely sure what that means.
"It could be Elivs (officiating) for all we know," Anna said. "We're learning as we go."
She'll take a black dress, and he'll take a shirt and tie, just in case. They're excited to play tourist, walk the strip and check out Vegas' famous fountains.
"I'm going to bring the dog in Monday," Mike said. "When she gets her hair cut, I'll get mine cut."
They'll stay at Caesars Palace and fly back Dec. 14.
Mike is a shipfitter at Bath Iron Works. Anna is a family consultant at the Maine Parent Federation, working with children who have special health needs.
They've renewed their vows once before. Anna surprised him then, too, with a renewal ceremony at his parents', Roland and Rita Cyr of Lewiston.
"Michael always says we have our ups and downs, but we're still playing together," Anna said.
Marriage is difficult, anyway, Mike said. Add the stress of two sick children, and it can be really trying.
"Basically, anybody who can put up with me for that long is still the one," he said.