‘How we met’ contest winner shares letter

From left, Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Lopez, Company B, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, son, Mathew, wife Mayra and daughter Karen, pose for a photo after renewing their vows at St. Michaels on Fort Bliss. Courtesy photo.

From left, Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Lopez, Company B, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, son, Mathew, wife Mayra and daughter Karen, pose for a photo after renewing their vows at St. Michaels on Fort Bliss. Courtesy photo.

By Alise Andrade , Fort Bliss Bugle Editor:

Mayra Lopez, winner of the “How We Met Contest,” sponsored by the Fort Bliss Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, shared the story of meeting and falling in love with her husband, Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Lopez, Company B, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Myra’s letter was chosen among approximately 15 other entrants as an MWR staff favorite.

Mayra originally decided to enter the contest to surprise her husband and was incredibly excited when she discovered her letter was chosen. “I always thought our love story was unique and wanted to share it,” she said.

To read her award-winning letter, see below.

By Mayra A. Lopez

Special to the Bugle

I met my husband Rodrigo Lopez when I was 12 years old. At the time, we both lived in Lennox, Calif. He was friends with my cousin, so he would come around a lot. I remember being 12 and writing in my Hello Kitty diary how one day I would marry him, but of course being so young, it felt like that would never happen. I even wrote a letter to him telling him that I wanted to be with him when I grew up and he responded to my letter telling me that I was a bright young lady and when I grew up I would probably find someone else and not even remember him.

Well, time went on and we both moved to different towns. Rodrigo joined the military in 1999, which took him to Fort Bragg, N.C. I went on to high school and began working at a movie theater as a supervisor.

I remember the night we reunited so clearly. It was a rainy evening and our theater had run out of condiments for the concession stand, so, I was told to drive to one of our sister theaters to borrow some. I went to the theater down the street and while I was waiting by the concession stand for the manager, this gentleman approached me and said, “Mayra?” I looked up at him and answered, “can I help you?” I thought it was a customer needing assistance.

Then Rodrigo said, “It’s me Rigo – remember me?” I was so shocked to be seeing him again. I was 17 years old at the time, and I had not seen him in five years. I remember we hugged each other and briefly spoke, but he had to go in to watch his movie, and I had to return to work, so we parted ways.

The next day was New Year’s Eve and I called my cousin to tell her who I ran into. The next thing I knew, Rodrigo was knocking at my door, and we ended up spending New Year’s Eve together and the rest is history!

We have been together since 2001 and married since 2004. This past August, we renewed our vows on Fort Bliss and convalidated our marriage. We have two wonderful children ages five and seven.

Rodrigo is my rock, and because of him, I am the person that I am today – a strong woman. Together we have gone through ups and downs, but he has never left my side. I love him and look forward to a lifetime and beyond with him.

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