Monday, February 9, 2015

True Love Stories: How I Met Antonio

"Through the Eyes of Love" as performed by Britt Nicole for the movie Ice Castles (2010) could be the theme song to the true love story featured today.

"How I Met Antonio" is the story of how Nikki Arana, a successful real estate broker from a wealthy family, met and married the man of her dreams. But it wasn't as easy as you may think nor was how they met predictable. Obstacles were along the route to Nikki's dreams but she and Antonio managed to survive.

You'll have to read the story for all the lovely details. So here it is...

~*~
How I Met Antonio
Nikki Arana’s true love story

1975

There was nothing unusual about this sunny, spring day on a Northern California Arabian horse ranch. Except that it would change two lives — forever . . .

“Come, Antonio.” The young, successful business woman hurriedly motioned the Mexican laborer to follow her. He spoke no English and her Spanish was minimal. Hand signals almost always bridged the gap.

He quickly fell into step behind her.

Hoping the rocks in the pasture wouldn’t scratch her Italian leather boots, she picked her way across a field to a fenced pasture. She was already late to a listing appointment but this pasture had to be made ready for an expensive mare, recently bred, that had just arrived.

As they approached the gate, Antonio rushed in front of her to open it. She smiled. He had only been hired the day before. The ranch manager had told her he’d come from Sacramento. Like most of the men who cleaned the stalls, he didn’t speak English or read or write. He was just a laborer. Still, even at that first meeting she’d sensed something different about him. Not just that he was tall, and, well, handsome, but there was something else. The way he held himself, the dark, intelligent eyes, a strength that didn’t threaten.

He waited for her to walk through the gate, then closed it.

A few more steps and they arrived at a slimy, filthy water trough.

“This isn’t fit for that mare to drink from,” she said out loud, then flushed, realizing he couldn’t understand a word she said.

She pointed to the trough. “You clean.” She made a scrubbing motion with her hand. Suddenly, she realized she hadn’t brought anything with her so he could clean it—no rags, Ajax, or steel wool.

She was about to signal him to sit down so she could run back up to the house and get something when he began looking around in the field. He picked up a rock with a flat side and studied it. Then he returned to the trough, kneeled down, let the water out, and began to scrub. Amazingly, the filth fell away and the metal shone through. She watched, curious and fascinated. He’d solved the problem with a rock!

Then she noticed his smile. It lit his face as he worked, patiently keeping at the task, whistling softly. He did his work with a kind of quiescent joy. His quiet, simple way touched her.

She stood silent, watching him. The minutes passed. The beautiful spirit revealed before her, there in the field at the dirty water trough, sparked an inner longing. A silent, unexpected indictment of her moneyed family and privileged lifestyle. How could this delight for life have survived the poverty and nothingness, the years of hunger and want that drove so many from his homeland? She lowered her eyes. His humble act, done with such willing care, drew her.

She wanted to know more about him.

. . . And that is how I met the man of my dreams. The beautiful, kind and gentle person that I met first met has never changed. That day that he first touched my heart was May 15, 1975. I got to know him over that summer and in November we decided to get married the following March. Needless to say, my parents were shocked and not happy that their successful, top-producing real estate broker daughter had made this choice! But as time passed and their grandchildren arrived, they came to love him. Next year will be our 40th wedding anniversary.

This is truly a love story. Our years together have had many challenges. A learning disabled son, the housing market meltdowns of 1980 and 2008, illnesses and even deaths have tried to rob us of our joy. But the love that brought us together not only sustained us but grew stronger. This Valentines Day won’t be “special.” It will be like every other day I have been married to him. I will be showered with kindness, understanding and the constant, living example of the scriptural directive, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church . . .”

~*~
Author bio: 
Nikki Arana is an award-winning author of suspense, women’s fiction, essays, poetry, and magazine articles whose work has been published in the United States, Canada and Indonesia. She has won several national awards, including The Carol Award - twice, and the Beacon Award. Her book, The Winds of Sonoma was named One of the Top 20 Books of the Year by Christianbook.com. 

Nikki is also the recipient of the Excellence in Media Silver Angel Award. All of her books deal with social, political, and spiritual issues that confront society today. She is an experienced speaker and has presented numerous, highly successful workshops on the craft of writing.

Nikki also serves persecuted Christians who are under the threat of death through her ministry, A Voice for the Persecuted. Her newest release, The Next Target, was inspired by her ministry and recently won the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s 2013 Christian Book Award for Fiction. You can visit her website here, www.NikkiArana.com or connect with her at Nikki Arana, Author on Facebook.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for including me in the Valentine's Day posts. If anyone would like to read the rest of the story, it is the subject of my first nove, The Winds of Sonoma. The novel won many national awards! I think you'll enjoy it.

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  2. Thank you, Nikki for contributing your true love story to my Valentine's Day celebration series! :) Loved reading your story!

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