November 29, 2006
Love or Death
A Distance Love Affair
A long distance relationship can be difficult, but I know a couple of which distance wasn’t the only problem. That couple is my parents, Steve and Rosario Gurule. They met on January 4, 1984 at my mother’s cousin’s wedding, she was the maid of honor, despite having to travel from Mexico to Yakima. My dad was a guest. When my mom first laid eyes on my dad she saw a slender and handsome man but didn’t really think much about him. My dad on the other hand saw her as the most beautiful woman at the wedding. Right away he knew he was going to ask her to dance at the reception. After a couple of drinks of the “magic punch” as my dad calls it and after the reception, my dad decided to give her a kiss. He told me, “She was a struggle; I had to pull her into me with my hand and kiss her in front of everybody. But it was sure worth it.” This was a beginning of a year’s relationship.
Two days after the wedding it is now time for my mom to leave to Mexico. But before she left she wanted to say bye to the man she had met at the wedding. She didn’t know when she was going to see him again. She asked one of her friends to call my dad and tell him to come over to the place she was staying at. She didn’t speak any English and he didn’t speak any Spanish. How was she going to say goodbye? By hand signals? Well that is exactly what happened. My dad came over and they gave their goodbyes. They some how managed to tell each other that they where going to stay in contact and they exchanged addresses.
My mom sent my dad the first letter in Spanish, of course. “If he was truly interested in me, he had to learn Spanish,” she tells me. And he did. He would write to her once a month because that’s how long it would take to get her letters back. It would take him a couple of hours to write her back. He would sit in his dining room table with the Spanish/ English dictionary right next to him. In every letter that my mom sent she would invite my dad to come to Mexico thinking that he would never go. Little did she know, he was on his way to Mexico. Throwing caution to the wind he took off to Mexico on February 1985. He went to Mexico without letting her know that he was coming, without knowing Spanish and without knowing exactly where she lived.
He arrived on a Thursday evening and he didn’t know where he was exactly. He only knew the name of the person with whom he was going to stay. Fortunately, when he knocked on the first door it was the person he was looking for. The next day he went to look for Mom, only knowing a description of her house. He was on the road and saw her walking with a friend. When he saw her he yelled out her name, “Chayo, Chayo, Chayo. Estoy aqui”. She wasn’t looking that great. She had just come back from washing her cloths at the creek. “I looked like a mess. I had messy hair and I was soaked in water. He didn’t seem to mind, that was the best part.” She told me.
After feeling embarrassed for a few moments, she went to him and gave him a hug. She then took him to her house to meet the family. My grandparents were happy to see my dad there. They knew that he was going to ask her for her hand in marriage. My grandparents thought it was about time for her to get married. It was well over due. In Mexico girls get married by the age of sixteen and my mom was already twenty-two. They thought she was never going to get married at the rate things were going. Seeing my dad there changed that opinion.
My mom then showed him her ranch, the place where she grew up. She showed him the restroom which was the outdoors. She showed him where he would be taking his showers for the next three weeks, the creek. And she showed him the house.
It was now time to talk the parents, my mom’s parents. He sat to talk to them in the living room and tried asking for permission to marry my mom. He tried really hard to say it in Spanish; he had rehearsed a couple of times before going over there. He told them, “Yo querer casarme con tu hija.” It wasn’t perfect Spanish but it got the message through. My mom over heard the conversation. She says it sounded so funny but it was nice to see his effort. My grandparents right away said yes. They were excited about the upcoming wedding. All my mom had to say now was yes to his proposal.
Later that day, my dad took my mom to the creek to talk. He asked her, “Tu quererte casar conmigo?” “Immediately I said no. I wanted him to suffer for a few minutes and to see how he would react.” My dad reacted by telling her that he was going to leave now since there was no point in staying. My mom reacted by telling him, “I do want to marry you. I was just joking. I wanted to see the reaction in your face if I said no.” He was so happy to hear that she did want to marry him. He didn’t bring the ring with him to Mexico but improvised a ring by getting a thin rose stem and rapping it around her finger to make it look like a ring.
Suddenly, Dad realized that the three weeks were coming to an end. It was now time for my dad to leave back to Washington. Two months after he left, my mom went to Yakima to prepare the wedding. Their engagement only lasted six months. They got married on July 13, 1985. My parents both agree that it was the greatest day of there lives. They had only met each other once before my dad had gone to Mexico. They only wrote each other letters and never spoke on the phone. They didn’t know each others language. Yet through all of these obstacles they didn’t let them break their love. This love has lasted twenty ones years and it is going to last forever.