Over time, spouses’ looks changed, unconditional love grew - Catholic Courier
A man and woman stand together.

Ed and Leonor Rivera at college (Photo by Carlos Borja)

Over time, spouses’ looks changed, unconditional love grew

I met my late husband, Ed, at college 27 pounds ago. Ed rode his bike often. I walked up and down the very hilly campus. All this exercise kept our weights under control in spite of eating pizza, wings and burgers.

After we graduated, we both got jobs that had us sitting more and driving. When we were married, I was a cute, chubby bride. As our weights continued to increase, I worried that Ed might love me less.

I loved Ed so much that his weight did not matter. His soft belly was so cuddly. His salt-and-pepper hair made him more handsome to me.

When I got pregnant, the doctor said I might get as big around as I was tall. I laughed, but he didn’t. Since I was 5 feet tall, the baby had nowhere to go but out.

A pregnant woman
(Photo by Ed Rivera)

During our 32 years of marriage, Ed looked at me with an unconditional love I didn’t understand but felt so blessed to have.

Now that Ed is gone, I look in the mirror and see my chubby body, graying hair and wrinkles appearing. I remember how Ed looked at me. When someone looks at you with that much love over so many years, you start to believe you ARE beautiful. Ed looked at me like God looks at me. I feel beautiful and loved by Ed and God.


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.

The last 2024 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends is Oct. 11-13 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.

To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.

Tags: Catholic Marriage
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