This is a wonderful story that I remember from years ago. This story is about an elderly lady named Alejandra who I befriended in our neighborhood. She lived alone, but her daughter looked in on her often. When Mrs. Alejandra was 18 years old in Spain, she fell in love with a merchant marine named Miguel. She was in love and she spent as much time with him as possible.
Unfortunately, this was years ago in Spain, and it was another time. Alejandra’s father felt that his daughter should be able to do “better” and he thus forbid Alejandra to see Miguel the Merchant Marine. Alejandra’s father felt that a Merchant Marine was often away from home and had the ever-present-danger of having a “love in every port-of-call.”
As such, with a deep sense of pain in her heart, Alejandra stopped the romance with her beloved Miguel. Both Alejandra and Miguel were tremendously heartbroken by Alejandra’s father’s demands, but in those days in Spain, a young woman did as her father said.
When Miguel left Spain on a boat as a Merchant Marine, Alejandra’s father arranged for Alejandra to meet and be married to a local banker named Juan Jose who was 16 years older than she.
As such, reluctantly, Alejandra married Juan Jose the banker and they settled into a life together. Alejandra had two children with Juan Jose the banker and things were going along in a normal fashion.
Then, at the young age of 56 Juan Jose the banker had a massive heart attack and died. This was such a shocking development for Mrs. Alejandra. She became a widow at age 40!
At this point, Miguel the Merchant Marine, had moved to Pennsylvania and had left the Merchant Marine work. He had returned to school and had obtained a degree in accounting. Alejandra’s Merchant Marine of her younger years was now an accomplished accountant in Pennsylvania in the United States.
Miguel himself had been in a very unhappy marriage and, after 6 years of that unhappy marriage, had recently divorced.
One day Miguel, now divorced and feeling a bit lonely, heard about a dating site called FindAMateForFree.com from his friend. Typically, Miguel thought, Spanish people do not go on dating sites online, but his friend told Miguel that this dating site is completely free – so “what do you have to lose?”
So, Miguel created an account on the website FindAMateForFree.com (or FAMFF.COM for short) and started to look around the website.
Miguel then had an idea. “I wonder if Alejandra may be on FAMFF.COM? or maybe a friend of hers?” He wondered whatever happened to Alejandra and what ever became of her life.
When he performed a search on FAMFF.COM for members who live in Sevilla, Spain – which was the last place he remembered where Alejandra lived – much to his surprise, there was the name of a lady named Alejandra who lives in Sevilla, Spain and she seemed to be the age of the Alejandra of his past! He therefore sent her a text on FAMFF.COM and they started to correspond. In time Miguel came to realize that indeed this Alejandra was indeed HIS long-lost Alejandra! of his past and of his dreams!
Miguel soon boarded an airplane and flew from Pennsylvania for Spain to see Alejandra.
When Alejandra was telling me this story of her life, and she told me that Miguel boarded a plane and came to Spain to see her, I asked her “Mrs. Alejandra, when Miguel knocked on your door after so many years, what did you say to him?”
She said, “Well, I said to him to ‘come in and have a cup of coffee.’”
Alejandra and Miguel were married less than three months later.
When I met Alejandra in our neighborhood, she had moved there to be close to her daughter because after 34 years of marriage Miguel the Merchant Marine of her youth and the love of her life, had passed away. Thus, when I met Mrs. Alejandra, she was living alone, but with her daughter looking in on her.
I remember asking Mrs. Alejandra. “Mrs. Alejandra, when were you happiest? During the 20 years that you were married to the banker or during the 34 years that you were married to Miguel, the Merchant Marine of your past?”
Mrs. Alejandra said, with a gleam in her eye and a gentle nostalgic smile, “Well son, of course, I was happiest during the time that I was married to Miguel my Merchant Marine of my past!!
I thought I would share this story with everyone here. It is a wonderful heartfelt story and should remind us that love never dies. It just sometimes takes a while to change our lives forever.
Javier Henriquez Alameda
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