Monday, May 29, 2017

In the beginning

I was 13 years old when I met the boy that would later become my husband. My family had moved here from Puerto Rico less than two years prior. He was the first "African American" boy I had ever talked to and he thought that was hilarious. In broken English I would tell him all about my newcomer, teenage issues and mishaps and he thought I was funny. He would give me advise and took on a big brother role in my life. Our friendship grew over the next few years and one day we both realized that we had feelings for each other.

In 1993 I became a mother. I gave birth to a beautiful, rosy-cheeked baby girl whom I loved from the instant I saw her! Her father was my best friend-turned-love of my life, but ours was tumultuous situation at the time. He was not the boy I once knew, his humor was gone and happiness escaped him. We became strangers. Nine months after the arrival of our daughter he was arrested. The details seem so distant now but the events of that day would forever change our lives. 

The following days proved to be extremely difficult. I had no idea what was happening except for the fact that a hearing would be taking place. I felt sick to my stomach and I couldn't sleep. I was devastated, as if he had died. His absence was so loud!

The day of the hearing I packed up my baby girl and set out for the courthouse. It was a cold November morning and the parking lot was blocks away. I walked as fast as I could, pushing a stroller at full speed. I saw several familiar faces as I entered the room, everyone was silent. Then I saw him... green clothes, tired eyes, he looked so small. The judge set bail at $50,000 (or was it $75,000?) and that was that! I was deflated, sad, confused, disoriented. What now?

Phone calls and letters began to pour in. We were finally talking again. He suddenly reverted to being the guy I knew; my best friend. He confessed to me that not long before being arrested, he had gotten on his knees to pray for a change, a new path, salvation. I was sure that this was God's answer, His will. I embarked on this journey with a hopeful heart. We both knew we were committed to being reunited, neither of us could have known how long it would take (23 years, 7 months and counting).

In January of 1994 we became husband and wife. Why would anyone get married under such circumstances? I loved him and he loved me. That's all that mattered. For better or for worse, right? I figure, if we can make it through the worse, imagine what we can do with the "better?"