In college, we both studied engineering. It was challenging. There wasn’t a lot of time to socialize. Our circle of friends was small.
To save money on expensive textbooks, we shared them. We met regularly to exchange books and for study groups. We saw each other a lot, but we were just friends, even though there was chemistry between us.
We started dating just before we graduated. Our friends were surprised it took us so long.
After graduation, each of us got corporate jobs. My job was in technical sales. I had to be outgoing and a good conversationalist and presenter. Ed worked for an auto company as an engineer. His coworkers were the quiet, intellectual types.
I worried that Ed’s abilities would not be recognized. I encouraged him to ask to lead projects at work and to be more outspoken. He did and became well-known. He encouraged me, and I did well also. We cheered each other on. We were an unbeatable team.
On our 10th wedding anniversary, we went to see the movie “Up Close & Personal.” The movie reminded us of how we supported and loved each other over the years. The song “ I’m Everything I Am Because You Loved Me” became our anniversary song.
The last gift I painted for Ed was a palm-sized snowman and an angel on a smooth stone. Ed said that he would have been a snowman if I had not melted his heart by loving and believing in him. I said I would be an angel without wings unable to fly without his encouragement.
Now that Ed has gone to heaven, I keep the stone near me to remind me to use my wings to fly knowing that a snowman with a warm heart watches over me.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.