Ouch! I step on a thorn and the Food City bag I carry tore. Now I have no more apples, the sun is burning me and the gallon of water I carry is boiling hot. I’m as dirty as a toddler playing with mud. I suddenly hear my dad yelling, “Let’s go back, everyone lets go.”
He was standing behind his dad. His long curls matched with his beautiful eyes and long eyelashes. I could still see the sadness and hurt in them. He handed me an ice-cold water bottle and a peach; something strange went through me, like an electric shock. The hot killing breeze of the desert, thorns, dangerous animals, and death became a place of love; A gorgeous place that taught me the meaning of LOVE.
Finding the dead body of his aunt abandoned in the middle of the desert was horrifying. My heart sunk seeing him cry. It was a mournful moment, a moment I will never forget because it was the day I met the love of my life.
A conversation began naturally, as if we had known each other for centuries. All I could ever talk and think about was him. Juan is his name. Our love is what drives me in life.
He visited me in September for the annual celebration, the Independence of Guatemala in Tucson, AZ. Everything was perfect until, until the phone rang with a loud scream that made my heart pound and my stomach hurt. All I could hear on the other side were people crying. Then a voice said, “Don Santos a muerto.” It echoed in my mind and cut into my heart deeper and deeper each time. My beloved grandfather had died.
Everything after that moment happened so quickly that it’s almost impossible to backtrack. In a matter of hours my father, brother, and I were on a small helicopter arriving in Totonicapan, Guatemala to meet with my mother and sister for the funeral. Once at the church, I did every possible thing to get to the coffin. It was a deep chestnut brown with soldier carvings bordering it. Next to it was someone I wasn’t expecting to see Juan. I was sure then that he was a blessing, a gift from god to me.
Two weeks after my grandfather’s funeral, we got married. My dream came true getting married with the man I love, in the place that gave me birth, and with the people I love. Two weeks from today, we will have our first anniversary.
When I visit my parents at the paradise desert, a saying comes to me that goes like this,”Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” Everything happens for a reason, sometimes during a moment of sorrow, in a place full of danger, in time of depression and can be so incomprehensive that we will never be able to decipher. For me that reason was finding TRUE LOVE in an unexpected place and time.
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