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WCN announces 'Love Story Contest' winners

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April 28, 2009 | 5,096 views | 2 comments

The Wilson County News "Love Story Contest" ended April 17. Three winners were chosen by random drawing. Following are the winners and some of the entries...

**********“The Day I Gave Away More Than a Raffle Prize-”*********
Danielle Flores, of Pleasanton First Place Winner

It was a chilly Saturday morning in February, just perfect for staying wrapped up beneath mounds of down comforters and soft blankets. But there was work to be down this Saturday. I was the Media and Communications Specialist for a large hospital and today was our annual health fair and 5-K race. As my alarm sounded at 5 am, I dragged myself and my 7 year old son out of bed and on our way to the hospital. As a divorced parent, when I worked, my son also volunteered!

Throughout the day I met kind and smiling faces of members of our community. I helped sign-up health fair registrants for a raffle prize giveaways as incentives and “thank you” gifts for staying on top of their health. It was then that I saw a runner from across the community center room where all the activities were taking place. I stared at him, trying to recall who this man was. He seemed so familiar to me, but I couldn’t think of the name. I began to ask my co-workers if they could help me put a name to this handsome face, but no one knew who the guy in the burgundy sweater was.

As the event wrapped up, my son and I left to have lunch and rest our tired feet. Amazingly, as tired as I was, I could not nap. How could I not have asked the guy in burgundy sweater who he was? Surely I knew him...I felt so strongly drawn to him. I was just certain that I would be terribly embarrassed later when I finally recalled who he was, and I would have kicked myself for not being more cordial. Of course, he was handsome. But that could not have been the reason for this overwhelming feeling of “knowing” this man. Who was he? I kept picturing him in uniform. I thought to myself, maybe he was an EMT or Fire Fighter that frequented the hospital. I shared an elevator with these guys and their gurneys many a day--perhaps this is him.

As evening drew near, I visited with friends and told them about my day. I told them about my weird experience with “Burgundy Sweater Guy” and how much it bothered me that I could not place who he was. They thought it strange that I was so fixated on this person with whom I did not even speak to, and asked if I had a photo of him.

A photo? How would I have a photo of “Burgundy Sweater Guy”? I did not even meet him. But then it came to me! I did have a photo!

The newspaper press took a group photo of the runners and he was there. First thing Monday morning I arrived to work and wrapped up the health fair details. I drew three names and called the raffle winners to pick up their prizes, emailed press releases to the media and reviewed the laboratory testing census.

I also requested that the newspaper send me a photo of the 5-K runners. As I opened the photo, there he was...three people down from me in the picture. I emailed it to my 6 friends so that they could put a face to “Burgundy Sweater Guy” and finally solve the mystery. But the mystery did not get solved! In this town, where EVERYONE knew EVERYONE...not one person knew who he was. How could this be possible? Then my day was interrupted by a phone call from one of the raffle prize winners. He called to tell me worked out of town and would drive by to claim his prize before work the following day.

The next day, as luck would have it was Valentine’s Day. After my co-workers and I treated ourselves to a lavish V-Day luncheon at a very upscale hotel, we hurried back to the hospital to continue with the daily grind. Oh no! I had almost forgotten that the raffle winner was going to come at 1pm and it was a few minutes after one o’clock already.

Then a knock at my door. As I look up to greet my visitor, I almost fell down in shock! It was him! “Burgundy Sweater Guy” was standing not more than 10ft in front of me in my office on Valentine’s Day. We both gazed at each other, fumbled out pleasantries and tried to recall how we knew each other. The feeling of “knowing” him turned out to be mutual. As I walked him to the elevator door and said good-bye, I could have kicked him for not at least asking me out! I was smitten. He was darling and not married. I felt chemistry, but he did not ask me out.

Of well, I thought. I blew it. Then,in an act of bravery, I picked up the phone to call and ask him out. I couldn’t believe myself. What I was about to do was something I thought I would have never done in a million years. As the phone rang, a voice answered promptly, “Danielle, I’m glad you called.” I was amazed. How did he know it was me?

He answered, “In case you were wondering, when you left me a voicemail to pick up the raffle prize I saved your phone number. There was something I really liked about your voice.” Now I was confused and shocked so I stayed a bit quiet. He continued, “I was just about to call you.” I answered, “Well, I was calling you because I really feel like I know you from somewhere and even if I don’t, some how , for some reason, I think I want to get to know you.”

He replied, “Same here. Are up for a date on Friday night?” Two days later we went on our first date.

After our first date, I told my mother I had met my future husband. We dated for 3 months before he asked me to marry him. We married on November 3 of that year. We are happily married now and to this day he sends me a bouquet of flowers each 14th of every month to commemorate the day our lives were joined by fate and blessed with love. We have added a beautiful son to our family and look forward to each new day with each other.

*********This Is Love*********
Jessica M. Villarreal of Poth Second Place Winner

Once upon a time... so begins another love story. Only this isn’t a fantasy, it is reality. You might say I never really believed in love at first sight. Sure, it was great for a movie plot, but in real life? No way. However, I must admit, I was always a hopeless romantic at heart.

It was just another regular hot day back in August of 2004. I was living in San Antonio with my family as we had just moved here the year before from California. I was determined to stay behind but my heart is where my family is so reluctantly I trotted along to Texas. All my friends tried to make light of the move by jokingly saying, “Maybe you’ll find your future husband there!”

When we moved here, I was employed as an administrative coordinator with a well known retail store off of Loop 410. I was working at the customer service desk trying to stay busy on a slow afternoon. Suddenly, I took a whiff of great cologne as I look up to see a handsome man walking towards me. He asked me where he could pay for his merchandise. Any other time I would have sent him to the registers but this time was different. A strange feeling took over me and I happily told him I could help him. We made small talk as he asked me where a restaurant was located. I told him I didn’t know because I was new to San Antonio. When I finished helping him, he started walking away. I quietly thought to myself, “Please don’t leave.” Just then, he turns around and asks me if I had a boyfriend. With a huge smile on my face, I quickly say, “No!” He then asked me for my phone number and the rest is history. Later that night when we talked, it was then that I discovered fate had a hand in bringing us together. Adam told me that he was from Floresville and that he was in San Antonio to meet up with a friend. He had gotten lost on 410 and was tired of driving around so when he saw the shopping center I was employed at from the highway, he decided to stop. He slowly made his way down the shopping strip and came across mine. He had never heard of it but decided to check it out anyways.

As we come to celebrate 4 years of marriage this August, I thank the maker of the stars for bringing us together. In December of 2008, we were blessed with our first child, a son, and we couldn’t be happier. This is the story of how I met my best friend and my husband. Is this the greatest love story ever told? Maybe not, but this is my story and this is only the beginning.

**********The Story of Us**********
Timpy Feller Tiemann of Roscoe Third Place Winner

It was the summer of 2004, every Wednesday night my friends and I would meet at this restaurant in San Antonio called “The County Line” - because they would have free concerts -- all you had to do was bring a canned food item for the San Antonio Food Bank -- so we would bring our can and enjoy an evening of live music and friends. Well this particular night I did not want to go since Gary P. Nunn would be playing -- I did not know any of his music, so why should I go...Well my friends decided that I needed to go since some other friends would be in town...they came an picked me up -- so I went. We were there having a good time talking and listening when this red-headed stranger walked past our group of friends...our eyes met and we smiled at each other. Our group of friends circle happen to be next to each other and I began to notice that each time we made eye contact, our group of friends got closer. So the small talk began between our groups and he finally approached me...He had on nice boot and a nice belt -- two things I always look at -- sometimes you can tell a lot from a persons shoes...The first thing he asked me was if my college ring was from A&M -- I told him no, that it was from Texas Lutheran -- and so our conversation began. When the concert was almost over -- my friend who brought me was ready to go. I did not know what to do since he had not asked for my number yet...but this voice inside of me told me to ask him for it -- there was definitely a fight in my head because my mother had always told me “Girls don’t call boys -- it’s not right” -- So if I got his number, I couldn’t call him...could I? Anyways this little voice kept saying...”If you don’t ask, you will never know...” So I approached him with my phone in hand...I started to ask for his number, but I paused -- I asked him “Are you married?” He said, “No”. Then I asked him, “Do you have a girlfriend? Or is someone going to come around the corner and beat me up for this” He said, “No”. Then I ask him, “Do you have any kids?” He said, “No”. I said okay and proceeded to get his phone number. He invited me to go to Midnight Rodeo with him and his friends, but I declined as it was a work-night and I left with my friends to go home. So Saturday -- I followed the “three day rule”, this little voice inside me came back and kept saying, “If you don’t call him, you will never know.” So, with my heart pounding, I called him and we have been talking ever since. I moved to west Texas in February 2005 and we got married in November 2005. We happily live in Roscoe Texas, but try to visit San Antonio and Yorktown as much as possible to see our families.

**********My husband and I**********
Beverly Moltz of Floresville
My husband and I are celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary in the month of April. We met 48 years ago. I had just finished ninth grade. My best friend was attending summer band camp at the high school we would attend the following year. She kept talking about this boy in the band who was so sweet and so nice. When school started, they began to go together. They broke up later in the fall, and I was definitely interested in him. I had met him at parties hosted by a mutual friend, but I don’t know if he was aware that I might be interested in taking her place. As high school kids do, I asked my friends to let him know that I liked him.

We began dating Spring of my sophomore year. He joined the Air Force after he graduated. We married Spring of my sophomore year of college. We have three daughters and five granddaughters. We were able to travel with our family to some unusual places.

Our personalities are very different, but we complement each other. We have weathered many storms, and have had some fantastic adventures. Actually, all of that is called “life.” After 43 years, we still enjoy each other’s company, and love and respect each other. We married to be able to spend our life together -- we are still on that path. We consider that to be a true blessing.

**********The greatest blessing**********
Linda Willis-Riojas of Somerset

April 1, 2009, was the 15th wedding anniversary of the greatest Blessing I’ve ever received from God; my beloved husband, David.

It didn’t start out easy, but, as in most things in life, those things that are worthwhile are never easy. In 1990, I was the single parent of 4 growing children. I was working overtime for every penny I could lay my hands on to keep them fed and clothed. We lived in a 850 sq. ft house in the country because the rent was what I could afford. Monday through Friday I worked 7:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday I hauled water (there was no county water and any wells in the area fed out undrinkable water, so we had a 1200 gallon storage tank and a pressure pump to pump the water into the house; hence the cheap rent) , did laundry and house cleaned, then worked Sundays from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The kids ate well (I refused food stamps because I brought these kids into the world and it was my, not the governments, responsibility to feed them) and had everything they needed (not everything they wanted).

About 4 or 5 months earlier, I met a man in the hallway of work whom I thought I’d never seen before, so, knowing most of the workers there, I assumed he was a janitor or something. That was David, and actually, he had been transfered there from another building where work was slow and he was there to work evening shift. As it was part of my job to deliver work orders to the lab, I spoke to him a few times (and boy, could he talk your ear off) and also saw him give some ‘attitude’ to another woman with even more ‘attitude’ delivering work orders to the lab as well (and NO one EVER gave her attitude). I kind of liked that in him, as she had given me a lot of grief as well as friendship in my time there.

At the time, I was driving a vehicle that had some mechanical problems such as a major oil leak. I remember I had carried a case of Golden State oil in the trunk of my car as I had to put in a quart of oil before I left for work, and another quart when I went home. After a time, David offered to repair my car on Sunday while I was there working anyway for a certain sum of money I could afford. I accepted.

Two Sundays came and went and no David. The third Sunday came and I called him at home and gave him some ‘attitude’ of my own. Thus, David came in, hung over and in no shape to work on the car. Turns out I had a rear main seal leak with the thing that keeps it from leaking frozen in place. David worked on the car until almost midnight, fussing the entire time until I wanted to put a seal on his mouth, I paid him and went home.

Next day I discovered that he’d forgotten to screw the oil pan on. The mechanics in the garage fixed the problem, but the car continued to grow worse until I sold it for junk and bought another junker from a friend for $300. Soon after, David was transferred back to his own lab and although I didn’t see him, I NEVER stopped hearing about him from the guys in the lab.

“David likes you.”

“David wants your phone number.”

It was like high school, and I definitely was NOT interested. I told the guys I had enough problems without David. The kids knew David not by reputation; that idiot that messed up my car. Time passed, then Thanksgiving week came and David appeared in my office sporting a newly grown mustache (I admit, I’m a sucker for a mustache) asking me about my Thanksgiving plans. I told him I already had plans. He asked me out to lunch. I politely declined. He asked me out to dinner. I explained about the kids. Eventually, he left. But I still kept getting ribbed by the guys in the lab about David ‘liking me’ and ‘wanting my phone number’ when he was the LAST person I was interested in getting involved with. As a matter of fact, I had decided NEVER to become involved with a single man or to marry again.

On Friday, December 14, 1990, I recevied a call from the school that one of my children, Matt, was ill. I took the rest of the day off, picked up Matt (who was immediately cured as soon as we got home), and started cleaning house. The phone rang and it was Judy, the secretary from work, calling to patch through a call that had come to my office from......David. I thought I would speak to him for maybe 5 minutes. 4 hours later (and a very numb ear), he was STILL on the phone when the bus brought the other kids home from school (I even handed the phone to my daughter, Katie, to listen to David talk on while I used the restroom). Eventually, the conversation turned to music, which deeply interested me, as I am a musician (I play guitar, piano, flute, and had sung backup on an album by a little known artist). He offered to come over and bring his guitar so we could play together. For that, and that alone, I agreed.

Katie had to babysit for her principal’s kids that night and wanted to take Sarah along, but I still had Mike and Matt for protection. David arrived at about 7:30 pm. When he came in, I realized he’d had a few beers. What I didn’t know was that he worked midnight shift and had had no sleep in over 24 hours. He then proceeded to open a guitar case and take out a guitar that was missing 2 strings!

We talked, sang and played on my guitar until he faded out and by the time Katie came in with Sarah from babysitting, David was literally passed on the couch. She pointed to David’s prone form and asked “What’s THAT?” The boys chorused, “That idiot that worked on mom’s car.” I pulled a blanket over him, left him written instructions on how to get back to the highway, put the kids to bed and went to bed myself...door locked.

David came back a few days later with a VCR (we didn’t have one) and candy (I didn’t allow candy or goodie since I couldn’t afford a dentist) for the kids. We went into the small town to rent some movies at the video store that charged AFTER you brought the movies back. Guess who got to pay for the rental. Me.

A week or so later, we went out to Red Lobster for dinner. He ordered for me. That was the night I discovered I was allergic to scallops.

Later on, he invited the kids and me to his apartment to watch something on Pay Per View. It turned out to be an event called King of the Ring; wrestling something the kids loved and I detested.

After all these disasters, you’d think I’d drop him like a hot potato. But through all this, I realized he actually loved the me, and more importantly, the kids. And I realized I loved this walking disaster area.

For the next 3 years, David proposed and I turned him down. Finally, I said yes but waited ANOTHER year to go through with the marriage.

Wonder why we were married April 1st?

Seems obvious from above, but that day was also Good Friday, and I’ve been trendously Blessed ever since.

**********Love Story**********
U<>Patricia Harden of Floresville

And all I needed was a date for a party.... And I found a partner for life....

It was June 2007, one of my closest friends was having a big birthday party and I wanted to find a date to take to the party. Three of us girls decided to go to Club Dallas in San Antonio on a Saturday night, one week before her birthday party. My husband says the first thing he noticed about me was my laugh, he had not seen me yet because he was on the other side of the club, but he sure did hear me.

The funny thing is that my husband had not planned on going to the club that night because he was going to stay back at the base and study, (he normally never went out to clubs), but the other guys at the base talked him into going that night. At the time he was in the United States Air Force and was in San Antonio for training but was stationed in Great Falls, Montana at his duty station.
Well, he asked me to dance and we hit it off from there. At the end of the night I asked him if he wanted to go to a party the following week and he said yes. He was sweet even to call me and make sure I had gotten home safe that night. We spent almost everyday together from that time until it was time for him to go back to Montana in August 2007. We kept in touch, called everyday, wrote everyday, we had the true long distance relationship.

It was March 1998 when I went to visit him in Montana. On March 18, 1998 he proposed to me, of course I accepted. From there I came back to San Antonio while he stayed in Montana. We continued to call everyday, and write everyday and visited each other every 3 to 4 months.

March 20, 1999, my wedding day, was the day I had dreamed about. We got married in San Antonio and I moved to Great Falls, Montana where we lived for 5 years. After my husband retired in November 2004 we moved here to Floresville, Texas.

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary on March 20, 2009. We are still as happy as the day we met. We have a handsome son who is 6 years old and a beautiful baby girl who is 17 months old. I guess sometimes long distance relationships really do work. And to think that

All I needed was a date for a party and found a partner for life.

**********Ralph and Mary Ann’s Love Story**********
Mary Ann Gerhardt of Adkins

We were introduced by Dr. Alan Roecks, a mutual friend. Alan Roecks and I worked together for a few years at the Education Service Center Region 20 from about 1976 to 1981. He kept telling me that he was trying to hire a single man so he could have that man date me. Dr. Roecks was unable to ever hire a single man and he later left ESC-20 to go work at Security Hill at Kelly Air Force Base. About a year later, I went to work at Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD for Dr. Nancy Hagen in the Administrative Office. (Dr. Hagen also worked at ESC 20 with Dr. Roecks and me).

On November 18, 1983, I answered Dr. Hagen’s telephone and the caller answered stating, “This is Dr. Alan Roecks”. I told Dr. Roecks that I was Mary Ann Voigt and asked if he remembered me. He replied yes. We had a short conversation and he asked me if I had a boyfriend yet. I told him no. He said “Wonderful”. He said “I have the man of your dreams working with me.” He stated, “The only thing to get you started on your way is happiness is I need your telephone number to give to your future partner.” I gave him my telephone and told him thank you. After I hung up the telephone, I thought, yeah right.

The following evening I received a call from Ralph Gerhardt, who stated that Alan Roecks suggested that he call me and possibly set up a date to go out. Ralph suggested we get together on November 20th. I told him that I couldn’t make it at time because I had another commitment.

So, we setup November 27th, 1983. He walked on the front porch and knocked at the door and I greeted him and asked him to come in and wait just inside the front door. I proceeded to run into the kitchen and told my mother that he had arrived. I told her that he was “bald” because I was hoping for a man with blonde curly hair. I went out with him nevertheless. I figured it was a free meal. Our first date was at Natural Bridge Caverns. (This was about the sixth time I had been there. All the other guys I met took me to Natural Bridge Caverns also). After the third date, my mother suggested that Ralph just come for the weekend and sleep on the couch in the living room to save him gas, since we went out on Saturday nights and then to church on Sunday.

On the last Saturday in January 1984, we attended the KBUC radio annual Country Western Music River Festival on the river in San Antonio. We were standing on one of the bridges on the River Walk, listening to the music, Ralph turned to me and took my hand and asked the ultimate question, “Will You Marry Me and spend the rest of your life with me?” I was “SPEECHLESS”. My heart and mind started racing. I couldn’t believe that someone had actually asked me to marry him. It took me a few minutes to stop shaking. I replied back to him, trembling, crying and happily, “YES I WILL!!!” I told my mother the good news the next day. She was stunned. Her little girl was finally getting married.

The next weekend, Ralph stated that we have to go shopping for an engagement ring. So, I started looking at different jewelry stores. He told me he wanted to buy me a big cluster diamond ring. I would have taken it, but as it turned out, I told him I saw a wedding ring set that I really liked and we looked at it and he agreed he liked also.

We were married on June 23, 1984 at First Protestant Church in New Braunfels and honeymooned in Washington, DC. I had a choice between Washington, DC and San Francisco, California. Little did I know then that I would be going to San Francisco in 1992 for a vacation.

As a wedding gift, we were given a week’s stay for our first wedding anniversary at a friend’s log cabin in Colorado. It was so peaceful and romantic. We went sight seeing during the day and just sat in rocking chairs on the porch in the evening watching and feeding the humming birds and chipmunks.

We made a verbal agreement that we would stay together for at least 50 years and then, if we still were together, we would make it permanent. This was, and still is, a source of amusement for us. We are happily married and are also BEST FRIENDS. We hold hands when we go places together. As a sign of our love for each other, and say “I LOVE YOU”. We do some of the following things:

1. When we hold hands, we squeeze our hands three times which, to us, means I Love You.
2. Visually we do the American Sign Language sign for I Love You with our hands.
3. Everyday, we tell each other I Love You.
4. We hug each other everyday. We have a bell that we call our “hug bell”. When one of us rings the bell, the other one comes and we give each other a great big hug. Sometimes the hug is a very long hug.
5. We give each other just because cards all year long, especially when we see when the other one needs some cheering up.
6. Ralph still opens the car and other doors for me.

We have been on several romantic trips and also on lots of one-day fun trips together. When we make the one-day trips, we pack a picnic lunch and sit and just enjoy each other’s company.

On June 23rd, we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We both can’t imagine anyone else we would rather be married to except our very BEST FRIEND!

**********Hi, welcome to Bealls**********
Jamie Campa of Floresville

HI, welcome to Bealls was the first phrase he heard me say. Our love story is unimaginable to most, but for us it is just the start to a great future. If we can get through this we can get through anything.

It started with a mom tired of her son picking all the wrong girls. One day at work she asked me if I would want to exchange emails with her son. Of course I pretended as if I didn’t hear her. One day she brought him in the store we met and spoke briefly but we both couldn’t stop smiling. We went on one two three dates before we made it official. We talked for hours on the phone which probably helped us know eachother even better. Two months later I get in the car to go with him to Fort Hood. As I sit down and get comfortable he brings out a little black box and opens it. The cutest little diamond caught my eye as he said “to always keep me safe stay by my side to be faithful forever and ever, to be respectful and never make me cry.” Well of course that in itself made me cry. I kept thinking to myself could this relationship get any better. Another two months go by and he takes me for a date downtown. We walk around to the carriages and we are riding he pulls out another black box and opens it of course this time the diamond really caught my eye and he said “ I want to spend the rest of my life with you” as I said yes cried and looked around spectators were clapping and pointing just like in the movies. It was the most perfect proposal. On September 5, 2008 we decided to tie the knot. Four months later he is shipped off to Iraq. All at once I felt that I had lost my husband and a best friend. He’s been gone for three months and they are some of the hardest times ever. We talk almost everyday. In the end i know that we’ll be stronger then ever. When the time comes we’ll say our vows in front of family, friends, and god. All I keep telling myself is that HE’LL BE HOME SOON!!!

**********Robin and Lee Mangum**********
Robin M. Mangum of La Vernia

My husband of six years, Lee, and I met through some reverse psychology that my girlfriend, Judy Armstrong, and his sister, Vicky Sullivan, unwittingly created when they decided to invite us out one evening. In October of 1999, I was invited by my friend, Judy, to attend a pre-Rodeo event. Vicky and Judy’s husbands’ own a company together and when they had two spare tickets to the table they were hosting, Vicky decided to invite her brother and Judy decided to invite me. Now normally under these circumstances one would assume that this was a blind date, but we were both individually, frequently, and emphatically informed that this was “in no way a fix up.” That evening at dinner we were introduced, but he had taken the “not a fix up” personally and thought that I must have said that I didn’t want to be fixed up... so he didn’t talk to me through the entire dinner. I finally got a laugh out of him when I brought dessert back to the table. I had taken a little of everything from the banquet table and when he saw my plate his eyebrows went up... I laughed and told him that I wasn’t going to eat it all, but I just wanted to taste them; he smiled. After dinner, everyone decided to go dancing. One of the other guests who hadn’t gotten the “it’s not a fix up” message, decided that Lee shouldn’t drive there alone and promptly decided that I would ride with him. (So much for the not a fix up part!) When we got to the dancehall, Lee danced with the friend who had decided that we should ride together, before he would dance with me; he later told me that he wanted to make sure that he “was warmed up and had worked out all the kinks,” before he took me for a turn on the floor. Well, I guess we must not follow instructions very well, because fix up or no fix up, we fell in love and have been together ever since. In November of 2002, our young sons (five of them between the two of us) gave us both away to each other in marriage and we’ve been honeymooning ever since.

**********Not looking**********
Wanda Kichar of Stockdale

At the age of 43 and divorced I was at a point in my life where I was not looking for anyone to marry and grow old with. I figure I would grow old by myself and live a fulfilling life.

I’m a Tea Alcoholic and every day I would stop off at the Mini Mart to get a glass of tea to take to work. On this beautiful spring day I got a cup, turn around to get the ice and there he stood. This 6’1 man with winkles on his face and these beautiful eyes looking at me. I couldn’t move. All I could do was look into those beautiful eyes and he looked into mine. I had this strong feeling of just wanting to raise my arm and touch his face. Strongest feeling I have ever had. After what seemed like a lifetime I said excuse me and got my ice, tea, and I left. I though of this man all day long. Didn’t know whom he was or if he was married or anything. Figured I would never see him again.

The next day I again went to mini mart to get my tea and couldn’t believe he was there drinking coffee and talking with the men who came in every morning. I didn’t know what to do so I went and got my tea. He didn’t say anything to me as I checked out and I was very disappointed. But, the next day when I stop by the girls at the counter told me that this nice gentleman was asking all kinds of questions about me. I knew exactly whom they were talking about.

But, after seeing him there day after day he would say good morning but not much more. But, after a month he finally got up enough courage to ask me out. This happen 11 years ago and I still find myself wanting to touch his face. He is my husband now and we are both retired. The last 11 years have been the best in my life and his. He stood by my side and got me thru treatment for Breast Cancer. I have stood by his side as he has several health problems. I strongly feel that God played a hand in us meeting. He has told me he fell in love with me that first day and I can say I did to.

**********Our Story**********
Brenda Rodriguez of Floresville

This is our story. I never thought in a million years that the term "soul mate" was real. And shame on me for questioning God's power. This story begins about my spiritual journey because that's how all of this started. I now know that the infamous statement "everything happens for a reason" really does hold true. A few years back I started my spiritual journey by joining a non-denominational church. I was there for about 2 years. During those years, I learned so much and I thank God for opening that door for me. I learned what it was to truly understand the bible and come to have a closer relationship with God. After I left the church, I strayed. I would go to the Catholic Church in Poth every now and then but only when I "had" to. I never felt that closeness that I had in the other church, however, I knew, as a parent that I needed to start focusing on my daughter and her relationship with God. As her 8th grade year approached she started religious education (CCD) because she hadn't even been confirmed or received the sacrament of Holy Communion yet, and I was about to start planning her quinceanera. Knowing that "church" was part of the celebration, I had to make sure she was on the right path.

In December 2007, I called to the Catholic Church in Poth to confirm the date for Destiny's quinceanera. As fate would have it they double-booked May 10th, 2008 and a wedding took precedence over our quinceanera. So in a panic I began calling around to different churches to find one that would be available six months later for the ceremony. I contacted Sacred Heart in Floresville. A meeting was set for us to meet with the priest in January. We met with Father Phil Henning that January day and I truly believe that is the day that my faith formation changed. Something or someONE had a hand in leading me this direction. That Sunday Destiny and I started attending mass. As we attended mass every Sunday, my faith began to grow stronger and deeper. The stories that Father Phil would share and how he explained the readings were like no other priest I had heard before. As each day would pass I would pray. I would pray for God's continued blessings, pray for my daughter, for my family, pray for my friends, and most of all, I asked God to please send me a mighty man of God. I asked him to let it be HIS will and I would be patient. As Sundays came and went, I started noticing a man sitting in the same pew as my daughter and I. Every Sunday, the same man, sat in the same spot, in the same pew, right next to us. For weeks, months, I watched as he came to church by himself, sometimes with an older lady (whom I presumed was his mother). I started to refer to him as my "church friend". I talked about him to everyone I knew, knowing NOTHING about him. I felt kiddish telling my mom and my best friend and my sister about my "church friend" and not having the guts to go introduce myself to him. The extent of our conversations was "Peace Be With You" during the service! I had finally decided, after much convincing from my best friend, that I was going to introduce myself at the church picnic. I had hyped myself up for it. I WAS GOING TO ASK HIM TO HAVE LUNCH AT THE PARISH HALL AFTER MASS THE DAY OF THE PICNIC. May 18th rolled around........I get to mass and as my luck would have church friend never showed up. :( I was so saddened. So I went to the hall, grabbed a bbq plate, sat down and ate, and played bingo with the old folks for about an hour. I didn't know anyone in the church personally so socializing was out of the question. I ended up going home.

Sunday 12:00 mass became habitual for me and my daughter--no matter where we were. If we were out of town, we always made it back by noon for mass. As the summer approached, I joined an adult kickball league and wouldn't you know it--games were scheduled for Sundays. When I got my schedule I was saddened---our games were at 11 am. Knowing that, we were going to have to change our mass schedule and attend an earlier mass to make it to our games on time. I still had hopes of meeting my church friend and I knew that if we suddenly stopped attending the 12:00 service, he would think I left the church. And by this time, I had no way of contacting him and letting him know the reason for me not being at the noon mass. So as usual, I turned to my best friend for advice. I remember her words..."sister, the only "public" place that you MIGHT be able to see him would be Roper's (dance hall in Floresville) and if you want, Alan and I will meet you at Roper's on Saturday and if it's meant to be, your church friend will be there." So I agreed. I got dressed and drove to meet my friends. Keep in mind, I would socialize at Ropers from time to time and never did I see my "friend" there so my hopes were pretty minimal but I had to give it a shot. As the night went on people came in and out, and I was giving up hope. At 11:00 pm, Saturday May 31st, my fate changed--for the rest of my life. The door opens and my mouth hit the floor. Dee Dee's back was to the door and I told her "Sister---you are not going to believe who just walked thru the door". MY CHURCH FRIEND!!! IT WAS HIM!!! I was so shocked that it became scary and I became fearful--which everyone knows is not me. But for some reason, I was nervous. I had a plan when I arrived there and now I needed to execute. So there's Dee Dee & Alan--"you're so chicken! You're not gonna do it!!" And all I could say was "watch me". By the time I turned around to find him, he was standing less that 5 ft from me at the bar. I walked right up to him, tapped his shoulder and said "Excuse me, my name is Brenda and you go to Sacred Heart and I go to Sacred Heart and we sit by each other every Sunday and I wanted to come introduce myself to you." His response was "No I don't, that's not me". Right then I almost hit the floor. Could I have mistaken this man for my church friend!?? How embarrassing!! But within seconds he smiles and says "I'm just kidding, my name is Tim".

And from that moment on, my life has never been the same. On SuperBowl Sunday, 2009, Tim got down on one knee--in the same church, in the same pew, in the same seat...that brought us together, and asked me to be his wife. We will be united in Holy Matrimony this November.

God answered my prayers. Ironically...he claims I became known as the "church girl" to his friends at work. And just like in the movies...he was thinking what I was thinking and neither of us thought or had the guts to introduce ourselves. I honestly have never been loved like this before and the feeling is wonderful. God is good and I owe it all to Him! This is our story.

Your Opinions and Comments

May 3, 2009 4:21pm
wow hearing all these stories really open up alot of door for people whom think they will never find their "soul mate" funny how all sorts of women wrote in there stories single,divorced,single mothers, it's amazing ... More ›

Elaine Kolodziej  
April 29, 2009 10:08am
These were some absolutely awesome love stories! It is like a breath of fresh air to read about romance, commitment and marriage. It's something that we don't see and hear about often enough in today's world. CONGRATULATIONS ... More ›

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