• Katarina Garcia

OUR LOVE STORY


Since I started dating my husband in 2017, I’ve often wondered how close our paths came to crossing before we officially met. It's known for a fact that we were only inches apart while attending our Islander Leadership Ceremony after training to become resident advisors at our university. However, I believe our paths crossed many more times than that. Given that we were both students of the College of Science & Engineering, it's likely that we often attended classes in the same building and maybe even had lunch at the same place occasionally. My good friend, Mayra, was Mike's neighbor and I would often visit her dorm right next door. My family also frequented Mike's hometown of Robstown, TX to stop at the famous Joe Cotton's BBQ restaurant at least once every few years. I decided to attend Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, mostly because of my mother. My mom had always dreamed of attending TAMU—CC, so growing up, we would often visit the university and Corpus Christi in general. Corpus Christi always felt like a second home to me, so that's why I decided upon attending this school rather than any other school in the country.


My husband and I both have our previous resident advisors to thank for our paths crossing, even though I am sure our paths would have crossed eventually. I had never heard of the RA position and barely even knew my own RA. That was until one day RA Dora stopped by my room for mandatory room inspections and she noticed my nifty inflatable couch. This sparked a conversation that sparked another conversation and eventually Dora and I were well acquainted. Dora even recommended that I apply to be a resident advisor in the upcoming year. At the time, I was very shy and it would have seemed very unlikely for me to have taken on this endeavor. However, something sparked an interest in my mind that made me determined to get the RA position. In Spring 2016, a position unexpectedly became available at Momentum Student Housing. I made sure to go to the info session and put all my strength and energy into my application. The only thing I was waiting on was a letter of recommendation from my professor and then I would turn in the application that day just barely beating the deadline. However, I made a life-altering mistake in not being specific enough about the time the letter of recommendation was needed by. That professor ended up emailing me 30 minutes late with her letter of recommendation and I was devastated. Instead of dwelling on a simple mistake, I took this moment as a sign that a better opportunity was coming; however, I never expected it would lead to me marrying the love of my life and having the sweetest little boy ever. 

Instead of applying again at Momentum Student Housing, I decided to apply at the student housing apartment complex I had previously lived in, Camden Miramar. Mike had applied simply because he wanted to be closer to campus and free room and board sounded enticing. As fate would have it, we were both hired to begin the same school year. On training day, I can remember my first words with Mike. He was sitting across from me and I had asked him where he was from. That one conversation led to many more conversations throughout the school year. I loved Mike's sense of humor and his excellent taste of music. Music was something we shared in common. Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and the Cranberries were something we bonded over and for that reason, we chose a music themed wedding. On June 8, 2017, Mike & I began dating. There was always a rule that resident advisors could not date each other, in order to avoid staff conflict. However, we found a loophole in which during the summer that I was still working as an RA, Mike wasn't and that's when it all started!

Mike & I dated for 3 weeks during the summer before I left to study abroad in Scotland for five weeks. Those five weeks ripped our hearts into pieces. I would often cry myself to sleep missing Mike and regretting not staying behind. Mike couldn't concentrate at his internship all day and would often go to sleep when he got out of work just to make time pass quicker. This is when we realized what we already knew in that we could not spend a second without each other, not now and not ever. I thought with time, the trip would get easier, but it only got harder. Instead of lying around with time slowly passing, I decided to do things in honor of us both. I would often get on buses to unknown towns to go on adventures and pretend Mike was there with me. I often Face-Timed him while at these places in hopes it would make me feel better. I even bought a square foot of land in Scotland for the two of us and put our names on a love lock bridge in Mussleburgh and left the key behind.

We would often write correspondence back and forth through the five weeks. On one special day, Mike sent me roses all the way to Dalkeith. Upon the last day at the palace, I threw the rose petals into the river at Dalkeith Palace which I found out later flows underneath the bridge where our love lock still resides to this day. 

On the day upon my arrival, Mike & I could not wait to be in each other's arms. Mike took the day off from his internship so that he could be the one to pick me up at the airport. When I arrived, he showed up with a bouquet of roses and when we hugged, we vowed never to live apart again. Little Maxon was conceived shortly after my arrival and we were so excited. Before Maxon was born, we made him a love lock of his own in hopes that we could place it on the bridge one day. Well as it would turn out, Maxon's NICU nurse was from Scotland and arranged for her friend to place it on the bridge and now both locks reside on that Mussleburgh pedestrian bridge.

While I was pregnant with Maxon, Mike & I continued to work as RAs for one semester before moving off campus. We spent fall semester applying to grad schools and jobs across Texas so that we could give the best life possible to our little Maxon. And finally, on Christmas Day, Mike popped the question I had been waiting to be asked my whole life.

On June 8, 2019, we tied the knot at the Corpus Christi Watergarden underneath the Harbor Bridge with all our friends and family to see, including our very handsome son. Following the wedding, we honeymooned in Scotland where we placed a new lock commemorating our wedding date on that special pedestrian bridge right next to our two other locks.

Life is now a crazy adventure as we navigate the ups and downs of life as a family. Every day I am thankful for the miraculous coincidences that brought Mike and Maxon into my life.

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