Things That Matter

Activist Couple Was Married At The Border Wall Where They First Met Six Years Ago

With all the uncertainty and traumatic news happening around us, it’s so encouraging to hear stories like this one. And that’s exactly what this couple had in mind when deciding to have their wedding ceremony at the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana – the same spot they met six years ago.

In marrying at the border wall, these two deportees wanted to bring attention to their respective causes (they both head support groups for recent deportees) while giving hope to those who are facing deportation.

Their message for those who face the traumatic experience of deportation is that life goes on and no matter which side of the border you are on, you’ll fine love, be embraced by family, and chase your dreams.

An activist couple celebrated their marriage with a ceremony at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Yolanda Varona and Héctor Barajas celebrated their love for another this past weekend, in front of the wall that divides San Diego and Tijuana. The same wall that separated them from their loved ones. The same wall where they met.

The couple met six years ago to the date, on the Mexican side of Friendship Park, while defending their respective causes. Varona is an advocate for recently deported mothers while Barajas works to help recently deported veterans.

“Someone told me go to the wall and that I’d find a veteran who was also deported and maybe with him I’d be able to do the activism that I long had wanted to do,” she told the San Diego Union Tribune in an interview.

She added that the veteran kind of intimidated her with his uniform and good looks so she asked him if she could take a picture with him to help break the ice. The pair have been inseparable ever since that ‘date’ in 2014.

Having legally celebrated their marriage back in August, the couple decided to host the ceremony with family and friends at the same spot they first met.

For both, this ceremony was important to send a message of hope to other migrant families.

Credit: Alexandra Mendoza / Getty Images

In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribue, Varona, who leads the DREAMers Moms group in Tijuana, said, “It is very symbolic because this wall separated us from our children, but it reminds us that there is life out here too and we can continue fighting from here.”

All too often the story of deportation is one of an ending. However, regardless of how traumatic and difficult the experience is, it’s important to remembre that life goes on. There is a strong community in Mexico formed from those who have been deported – and many different resources to help those readjust to their new lives.

During their special ceremony, the groom couldn’t hide his happiness. “She has always been there for me, and I want to continue to be a better person, and I know good things will come for us,” he said during their ceremony.

The couple were accompanied by friends, including members of their communities: deported mothers and veterans. The ceremony was brief, given that the beaches of Tijuana are open on reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there was no lack of dancing between the couple in front of the sunset.

Their activism work brought them together but they both share similar stories as well.

Varona, who lived with her family in San Diego, was deported more than a decade ago, while Barajas, a former United States Army trooper, was involved in an altercation and after serving a year and a half in prison was repatriated to his native Mexico in 2004.

Determined to return to the U.S, Varona made another attempt at living in the U.S. without documentation but she was subsequently deported again in 2010. Upon being sent back to Tijuana, she founded the support group for deported mothers.

Barajas founded the support group for deported veterans after arriving back in Tijuana. However, in 2018, he was granted a pardon by then Governor of California, Jerry Brown, and he was able to return to the U.S. to complete the naturalization process to become a U.S. citizen.

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Barack Obama Opened Up About How The White House Strained His Marriage To Michelle— “my heart would suddenly tighten”

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Barack Obama Opened Up About How The White House Strained His Marriage To Michelle— “my heart would suddenly tighten”

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

In Barack Obama’s newest 768 page memoir, A Promised Land, the former president sheds some light on his covetable marriage to his wife Michelle Obama. In the honest memoir, the former president recalls the moments that threatened the strength of his marriage to the former first lady recalling how he consulted with his wife about running for president when it was already too late; he’d already done quite a bit of work without telling her.

“She gave me a hard look and got up from the couch. ‘God, Barack…When is it going to be enough?'” Obama explained in the memoir. “Before I could answer, she’d gone into the bedroom and closed the door.”

Speaking about their marriage in the memoir and with People Magazine for a new interview, Obama explains how his role as president created a rift in their relationship that he thought was once impossible to repair.

Obama explains that his time in the White House was wracked with marital tension.

“Michelle very much believed in the work I did but was less optimistic about what I could get done. … She’s more skeptical about politics and more mindful of the sacrifices to the family,” he revealed.

Still, Obama says “I think we came out of it whole… There were great joys in the White House. There was never a time where we didn’t recognize what an extraordinary privilege it was to be there. Most importantly, our children emerged intact and they are wonderful, kind, thoughtful, creative — and not entitled — young women. So that’s a big sigh of relief.”

In an interview with People, Obama opened up about the part his role as president had on affecting the happiness of his wife and the former first lady.

People describes politics as “a blood sport” which Michelle Obama always hated and how Obama’s “preternatural ease” contributed to the feelings of loneliness she felt while in the White House.

“There were times where I think she was frustrated or sad or angry but knew that I had Afghanistan or the financial crisis to worry about,” Obama explaned, “so she would tamp it down.”

Addressing a passage in his latest memoir, Obama recalled “There were nights when lying next to Michelle in the dark, I’d think about those days when everything between us felt lighter when her smile was more constant and our love less encumbered,” he writes, “and my heart would suddenly tighten at the thought that those days might not return.”

Fortunately, People asked if they ever found their way back to those days.

“We did,” Obama told the magazine. “It was like a big exhale right after we left office… It took some time to talk about how she had felt… Once [the presidency] was done, there was possibility of her opening up … but more importantly, just her being able to let out a breath and relax.”

Obama shared that these days the former First Lady is “more relaxed and more joyful since we left office.” The resulting effect has been that it has allowed the Obamas “to just enjoy the deep love that comes with a marriage this long. But also to be friends again.”

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These Abuelos Met And Fell In Love During Quarantine And Now They’re Happily Married

Things That Matter

These Abuelos Met And Fell In Love During Quarantine And Now They’re Happily Married

Antonia Leni Crepaldi / Facebook

Many think that being old means that people no longer get to enjoy the many things that young people can – like fall in love. Then, throw in a global health crisis in the form of a pandemic and many will say the odds are stacked even higher against you.

Well, one Brazilian couple – who have 196 years on Earth between the two of them – are proving that it’s never too late to find love. And they’re sending the Internet into a frenzy with their romance while giving hope to those of us who haven’t been so lucky in love.

A Brazilian couple have made headlines for getting married at a very advanced age.

Although finding love might not be high on most people’s priorities these days – as so many of us are focused on surviving the Covid-19 pandemic and a whirlwind presidential election – that’s exactly what one elderly couple from Brazil just did.

The story of Marcelino and Branca, both from São Paulo, Brazil, show us how we should never give up. At 100 and 96 respectively, they were just married and can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together.

The couple met in a nursing home two years ago but during a Coronavirus-induced lockdown, the pair grew closer. Although in an interview with Telemundo, Marcelo says that he new Branca was the love of his life from the moment they first met.

Their marriage took place at a small ceremony in front of their own children, some of whom are more than 70 years old.

Because of Covid-19, the couple celebrated their love for one another with a small wedding ceremony attended by their closest relatives and a few close friends and roommates from the nursing home where they first met.

The incredible story has filled Marcelino and Branca with new life, joy and youth. So you know, it’s never too late to find love.

They’re not the only couple to have found love amid the pandemic!

Also out of Brazil, a couple who first met 55 years ago as teenagers have reunited and fallen in love all over again.

Antonia Leni and Paulino dos Santos had dated briefly when she was 16 and he was 15 – they say they were each other’s first love. After high school, they each followed their own paths, made their own lives, until fate appears to have brought them back together.

It all happened after Antonia, after being diagnosed with depression and having tried to commit suicide, was transferred to a mental health hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to receive the best care, a place where Paulino also resided since he suffered an unfortunate accident.

He recognized her immediately and although it was difficult for him to get close to Antonia, little by little they began to remember their beautiful moments together in adolescence. On Valentine’s Day, Paulino surprised his beloved with a beautiful gold ring to ask for her hand and after nine months of engagement, the couple celebrated their wedding with the help of 100 volunteers, including his family and the staff of the nursing home.

How about you? Do you have any Coronavirus love stories? Or know somebody who does?

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