Our relationship was one that was not supposed to last. So many bets and side bets were placed against us. To believe in our relationship was a risk not many were willing to take. I smile when I think of all the money that was lost because of our unfailing love.
In August of 1994 life had gotten a little tougher for us. We were trying to settle in a small town after we lived our entire lives in big cities. Sergio was struggling to find a job and to leave his past life style behind him. He would often return to Colorado Springs during these times of frustration. On one of these trips he was the victim of a drive by shooting. As if being a paraplegic and the trauma that occurred from that wasn’t enough, he would carry an even deeper scar. We both had so many changes and uncertainties we were dealing with at a critical time in our relationship. We reached the point of make it, or break it.
We decided to travel on the road to make it.
I remember vividly the day Sergio arrived home, from the hospital, days earlier then I expected. He was supposed to stay in Colorado Springs to recover from his gunshot wound while I would return to work and care for Ashley. He was to do some soul searching and make a plan as to how he would transition back to small town living. Even though we never said it out loud the other option was for him to stay there and never return. The spoken plan was that Sergio would come home after having the many staples removed from his head. To be honest I needed time to recover from this fear and trauma that clouded my mind and pierced my heart. I needed to trust that this would never happen again because it was hard to understand how it did happen again.
Sergio had a hard time following instructions so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I heard his car pull up to our little handicapped accessible apartment and that he still had staples in his head. Seeing the car pull in the parking lot gave me the feeling of anxiety and love stirred together. I was afraid of our future but the love I felt for Sergio was one that I could not deny. Once we were face to face the anxiety started to melt away. This was the day he looked me in the eyes and asked me to be his wife, the day we sat in the car, pulled out a calendar, closed our eyes while my finger landed on the month of October. October 15 it would be. We were getting married! We started our journey to make it, understanding that we could never venture down the road of break it.
Almost 20 years ago Sergio and I with the help of my mother put together a simple wedding ceremony in two months. In front of a small amount of family and one close friend I headed down the hall of my mothers home to say “I do” to a broken man. A man that I vowed to honor and cherish till death parted us. The song Always and Forever played softly as I approached Sergio. The preacher who performed the ceremony knew very little of us or our story. He knew nothing about our trauma, our pain, nor our fight to stay together. He had just learned our names weeks before. On this day our faith was small and we choose the traditional love scriptures because we honestly did not know much about the bible. I wore a dress that was given to me and Sergio wore a borrowed suit along with a borrowed ring. The night was made complete with a pot luck style meal and a cake that was given to us as a gift. With music playing off the radio we spent the night eating and drinking with our guests. As time grew late Sergio and I headed to spend one night at the only hotel in town. This night would be our honeymoon.
Now my life is completely different, I am writing while my best friend (Sergio) is cooking a meal and watching the Denver Broncos play football. He gave me the opportunity to sit at my desk and write so I can share how we are planning to renew our vows. We both want to celebrate so we can share our love and joy with our friends and family. In 20 years Sergio and I have grown in faith and grown closer to each other. I don’t think anyone would place bets against our relationship today. When we started seriously writing our book and The Wheels of Grace website was complete we knew without a doubt that we wanted to fully share our story with the world.
With all the retelling of our love story and our 20th anniversary approaching we felt it was time to celebrate.
Fall has always been my favorite season, and I love how God guided my finger to land on the month of October. 20 Years later Sergio and I will celebrate in October, our month of love. The decorations for our renewal include pumpkins, wheat, and leaves. We will play the song Always and Forever, along with other beautiful love songs. We will have the ceremony in our church home in front of our family, church family, and many close friends. Our preacher who knows our story and knows us personally will conduct our wedding vow renewal. Our preacher who has cried with us when we have struggled and rejoiced with us when blessings have come. He is as excited as we are and we are grateful to celebrate with him.
Sergio and I will enjoy the beautiful colors of fall on the property of our best friends. We will have fajitas, cupcakes, caramel apples, s’mores, yard games, music, dancing, laughing, love, and mostly important the presence of Our Father. I look forward to October 18, 2014 when I have the opportunity to look Sergio in his eyes and share my vows telling him how I promise to love him more tomorrow. As I tread through.
Follow us on Instagram to see pictures of our special day.