This is a love story more touching than any other I have heard, and reaffirms my reasons for asking people that I meet about their lives. It proves that real love trumps all odds. This is a coworker of mine, she is a middle aged Mexican woman dripping in affection and sass, and I liked her almost instantly.
I have changed her name in the story for her privacy. I chose to call her the female Spanish name Balere, meaning “strong”.
When I first met Balere , I thought she had a very thick Mexican accent, and it was difficult to understand her. It wasn't until later that I learned that she had suffered a stroke which affected her ability to speak. You would never know that she had gone through what she did if she didn't choose to tell you. Today, I asked her how she met her husband, and the story was too beautiful not to share.
In her late 20's, Balere worked as a journalist. She described her work patterns for writing projects and it reminded me of my own art work. Her journalism career consisted of big project after big project, all coming in back-to-back waves, so often times it was hard to get away from her work. She had a friend who lived in the Netherlands, also Mexican, who had been asking her to come visit for years.
Balere had began working on a project with the government, which she hated, so she decided to take a leap and quit. Shortly after she told her friend from the Netherlands that she was now free to come visit. Her friend was very excited, so excited in fact, that she set up a dating profile for Balere in the Netherlands without her knowing. She called and showed her the profile, with Balere went along with with good humor.
She arrived in the Netherlands, and stayed with her friend. While she was there, she began chatting online with a man that would eventually become her husband. She tells me that they used to talk all day, 6am to 2pm, and this lasted two months. Finally, they decided it was time to meet in person. He told her to meet him on the big bridge in the city.
Balere brought her friend with her, and as they walked up to the spot they realized that there were two big bridges in the same area. He hadn't specified which bridge. Her friend, excited about the prospects of Balere meeting her possible soul mate, was upset and worked up. Amid her fit of swearing she looked over and said, “Balere , there he is!” He had also brought a friend. They were finally united, and the chemistry was instantaneous.
They fell in love, and while still in the Netherlands, moved in together and lived happily together for three months. Then, the Mexican government notified Balere that she could no longer stay in the Netherlands. Crushed, they parted ways, and Balere returned to Mexico.
Back in Mexico, Balere was living with her parents at the time. She continued to keep in contact with her long-distance boyfriend online. One day, she complained to him of headaches and dizziness. She went to the bathroom, and cant remember anything after that. She had fainted, and her mom heard her hit the floor. She had suffered a stroke.
Her boyfriend hadn't heard from her in a long time, and was desperately trying to get in contact with her, to find her. Finally, he tracked down Balere 's friend in the Netherlands and asked her what happened. Her friend reported sadly that she had suffered a stroke.
Her memory was intact, but she had lost all function in her left side. For the next five years she would be subject to daily visits to physical therapy, hospital visits, and blood work. Balere finally reached out to her boyfriend and told him, “This is what happened, you can choose to move on with your life, you don't have to wait for me.” He said, “No, I'm staying,” and was on a plane to Mexico shortly after. As Balere tells me this part of the story, she is tearing up, and I am too.
He came to Mexico and took care of her. She had trouble with her speech, she had gained weight, she was miserable, but through it all he was there. She had her stroke in November, they were married May of that same year. After she had recovered they moved to the United States together, and have been happily together ever since.
What an amazing story. Even after being forced to move back to Mexico, even after suffering a stroke and believing all hope was lost for their love, it triumphed. This goes to show that if something is meant to be, it will happen.
“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”