Forty years and counting

BY MARIA LUISA SALCINES

My husband and I are celebrating our 40th anniversary Sunday. As I write down the number 40, I can’t believe how quick the years have flown by.

What hasn’t changed in all these years is the two people who began this journey together. We were two kids. I was 18 my husband was 24 years old, when we decided to get married after dating three months.

Crazy I know, but crazy in love we were and I can happily say that we still are. We both agree that from our first date, there was a connection that we felt that was undeniable.

Cuban sparks went off like the Fourth of July, and we couldn’t stand being apart from that moment on. When we began to date it was as if we had always been together.

We made each other laugh, and we had so many things in common it was easy being together.

We were both a bit more Cuban than American in the way we lived our lives. Speaking words of love to each other in Spanish felt more natural than English. Our Cuban culture was a big part of who we were, and finding each other felt like coming home.

He understood me, no explanation needed and vice versa.

Two Cubans born on diffident ends of the island meet in McAllen, Texas what are the odds, and how grateful I am that our lives came together.

I thought I could never love this man more than I did the day we were married, but a life of shared experiences mostly wonderful, some sad and difficult ones make you grow close and love and appreciate each other even more.

There’s a moment in everyone’s lifetime when you make a choice that changes the course of your life. It’s a decision you make with your heart. And life looks different after you do.

The sun seems to shine brighter, and you notice things you hadn’t before, because you are so happy you cannot contain it. That’s how we felt the day we got married.

We had no expectations other than to love each other, and yet we found everything we ever wanted and more than we could have ever imagined.

Our greatest blessings, has been our three children who have brought us so much love and joy, our three grandsons from our oldest son and his wife, and the recent news that our younger son and his wife are expecting a baby boy next year.

We started off as two and now have a small gang of people we adore.

Gladys Knight’s song, “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,” describes my life perfectly.

“I’ve had my share, Of life’s ups and downs, but fates been kind, the downs have been few, I guess you could say, I’ve been lucky, Or I guess you could say, That it’s all because of you. If anyone, should ever write, my life story, for whatever reason there might be, you’d be there, between each line of pain and glory, because you’re the best thing that ever happened to me, Oh you’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”

My heart overflows with gratitude for the love we have shared. Te amo mi amor.

Happy Anniversary!

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or on Instagram at mlsalcines. You can also contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.