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Love is in the air
“The sparkle in their eyes”: Cesar and Marda Rodriguez
Their love started long ago… back in the 70’s in Guatemala. Cesar and Marda Rodriguez’s love lighted on when they were two teenagers at the age of 15 and 13, respectively. Since the moment Cesar saw her, he knew they were meant to be together.
Their first date was at the movie theatre where he asked her to be his girlfriend. Magda had only five minutes to think about it and give an answer. Who would imagine those five minutes will turn into wonderful 45 years of love.
Cesar left Guatemala in 1983, eight years after their wedding day, and went to the US and Canada looking for better job opportunities. They never stopped communicating. In 1991, Marda and her three children arrived in Canada.
In a beautiful day of January 2018, they are sitting on a beautiful, cream couch holding hands in a gesture of tender, and looking back to admire how far they've come. A love story that sets an example for four kids and five grandchildren.
“Cesar has flaws and so do I,” Marda continues. “Our life has been a path, with ups and downs, but we never stopped cultivating love.”
She is wearing a black top and a red lipstick that give her a very jovial look. Marda considers herself as an advocate for women’s rights, and family principles. She has a virtuous way with words and a great sense of humor.
In 2015, Marda was diagnosed with a nervous illness that caused her to lose strength in her upper limbs, which affected her upper-body abilities.
"In the last three years, Cesar has become my arms," she says as he squeezes her hand showing support.
Cesar is a man of risks. He likes challenges and knowledge. With more than four degrees under his arm, he also has a strong character and a serious portrait. A seriousness that instantly vanishes when crossing glances with his love partner.
"Marda has always taken me to new places. She is a woman full of life, and I like it," he says.
His belief is that forgiveness is a fundamental factor when facing the mistakes of the other. He speaks about a forgiveness without resentment or recriminations.
On the lips of Magda and Cesar, the quote on how love can do everything starts to make sense.
"When there is love, even bread with butter tastes very good," he says. They agree that a couple is like a team: a team where both have the responsibility to support each other.
Magda, married at the age of 15, considers her case an exception. Now at 58, she says maturity is important before deciding to spend life side by side with someone.
On November 1st, they will celebrate 43 years of marriage. "He tells me everything with the brightness in his eyes," says Marda while the living room of their home is filled with pure love.
Love letters: Cyril and Olivia North
The story of Cyril and Olivia North started in Peru 45 years ago. Olivia is a Mexican woman full of dreams, and Cyril is an Irishman, deeply in love with her. They didn’t let distance defeat their love, and they exchanged love letters for almost a year until the day they met again. Those letters now rest in a book they’ve called “The story of love.”
On June 10th, 1976, they said “I do” in Mexico. Later that year, she came to Canada where Cyril was waiting - the North family quickly expanded with three beautiful daughters whom they say to be greatly proud of, and with a grandson whom just turned one.
Time flies and today is a Sunday morning. Their house smells like just made coffee and baked cupcakes. It doesn’t take them three seconds to describe the last 42 years.
“It has been a wonderful life. We can’t be away from each other,” says Olivia.
Olivia is a cancer survivor. In 1988, she was diagnosed with grade three of breast cancer. With a fearful heart, she asked Cyril to look at her for the last time because after the mastectomy she would be “different”. He hugged her and reminded Olivia that his love is based on her as a person no matter the physical appearance.
“(Cyril) hugged me like never before, and he cured me,” says the brave woman with teary eyes.
This wasn’t only Olivia’s fight against cancer, it was theirs. She never felt alone, and he ran the house as an excellent husband and lovely father.
The 68 years old woman expresses her happiness and noble heart in every word. She also says to be proud that her daughters look in their husbands for traits the man that their father represents.
“I don’t have words to describe him. The more time we spend together, the more I fall in love with him,” she says while giving Cyril a glance.
Cyril, a teacher, and an artist is a man of few words with a tender look. He says the secret of marriage is only mythology and it requires lots of work and conviction.
“We need to be married with the firm belief that we will make it work. If we abandon a partner for some difficulty, someday we will remarry somebody else and have the same problem,” he assures.
They will soon celebrate 42 years since their wedding day. They say to be old, but their eyes still glow when they look at each other. Among laughs and camera’s flashes, Cyril and Olivia accept they are always kissing.
A New Year’s present: Bill and Jean March
For those who don’t believe in blind dates, Bill and Jean March are the best example to say that sometimes, they match two people for life.
At the end of 1974, Bill and Jean had no choice but to go to a New Years Party in Hamilton, their hometown. They were both told the other person was looking forward to the setup, the truth is they were not able to escape from their common organizer friends. Who would say 42 years after they will be sitting in a coffee place with warm hearts, hands together talking about their love in a cold afternoon in Hamilton where they still live.
He orders a coffee for her with no need of asking how she likes it. They have one son, three grandchildren and an adorable great-grandson. They know each other like the palm of their hands and agree that love comes as a consequence of mutual respect.
“People won´t believe it, but Bill and I never fought. We had our arguments, but the respect we had for each other over the years seems to carry us through. We never called each other names, or yelled. We sit down and talk it out,” says Jean.
Wisely, adds that it is important to never go to bed being mad, and most importantly, to remind the other person how much they mean to you.
“I always say I love you before going to sleep,” says Bill.
She describes him as supportive, caring, and compassionate. A man who warms up the car first before calling her. A man that will never have the last piece of anything before offering to her.
“Before we didn’t have a heater in our bedroom. Bill would go to bed half an hour early, lay on my side of the bed and when I come, he would move to the cold for me to have the warm side,” says Jean with nostalgia.
Their favorite time together is when they go for a walk in the park or when they take long rides. In one of the many trips they’ve made, Jean forget her purse inside the restaurant and drove one hour away while Bill was taking a nap. When he woke up and took over, Jean realized the purse wasn’t there. Nor their cards, money, and documents. While she
cried all the way, he drove to the restaurant, and he never once in the hour and a half back got mad.
“He told me everything will be fine,” remembers Jean. So, it was. She found her purse and since then she never brings it inside a restaurant.
Bill’s philosophy is to always let the good memories outnumber the times of challenge. He describes Jean as a lovely and generous woman who will give the shirt off her back for anyone. “She never disappoints anybody, and she knows I will do everything for her.”
Bill and Jean are soul mates. They’ve learned to accept and love every inch of them. They try to say something negative about each other and the worst it comes to their minds is that his singing is not very good, neither is her dancing. The moment seals with laughter.
Bill remembers she once told him to remarry if something ever happens to her, but he would never do that. “Once you have a life partner, you don’t want anybody else,” says Bill while getting lost in her eyes. “If anything happens to you, Jean, nobody could ever replace you.”