We agreed to meet back at the Revival services two nights later. I was still in shock and dealing with a whirl of emotions at this confession of admiration. I begged my close friend, Rachel, to come with me, that Thursday night, to meet this mysterious man.
Thursday evening came quickly. Rachel had agreed to come with me. After the service I gave, Cesar, three means of contacting my father. I warned him that much prayer and fasting would be advised before initially talking to my dad.
You could imagine how surprised I must have been when I returned home from teaching school ,the next day, and my father was not there. I called my mother who informed me that Daddy was out with that nice young man I had met at the Revival. Did he not take me seriously when I admonished him to proceed with caution? The next few hours were agonizing. Cesar had made it clear that if my father said “no” that he would respect his wishes and disappear.
By God’s grace, my father was actually very impressed by him. So impressed that he brought my potential suitor to our home that evening so that he could attend the service with us.
On our first date, in January, Cesar took my dad and I to some of his favorite places. We hung out at a mall (near a Best Buy if I recall) and ate pizza together at Cosco.
Cesar drove a 1986 Toyota Corolla that he had bought, used, 10 years before we met. He had maintained this vintage wonder with dignity. This fact made me like him even more than a fancy sports car would have. I noted that if we were to be married in the future that he would not be inclined to trade me in for the latest model:-)
It was not all smooth sailing through our courtship. I had been struggling with feelings of guilt and depression that began right before I had met him the second time. He sent many beautiful flower arrangements to me but still I was not inclined to talk to him. He was smart though. He would take turns talking to my mom or dad when they answered the phone. One day my mom looked at me, after talking to Cesar for a little while, and said, “You better marry that man.”
In May of that year I had found victory over many of my personal struggles and was ready to get to know Cesar a little better. My parents and I had just moved to a new home in our same community. I had invited Cesar to come see us on Mother’s Day weekend.
Would he give up his weekly trip to his parent’s home, 4 hours away, just to see me at Mother’s Day?