Andrea and Vidal met back in October 2001 in a grade 7 catechism class at St. Matthew’s. Vidal was serving as volunteer, while Andrea as the parish youth minister came into make some announcements and lead some games, including the popular Lava Game where you have to get from one side of the room to the other by only stepping on little mats, while avoiding falling in the “LAVA.” Or else you’ll melt. Vidal’s first impression of Andrea: Wow, she is beautiful. Andrea’s first impression of Vidal: There is NO WAY that guy is in grade 7, especially with his moustache. Vidal’s 2nd impression of Andrea was that not only was she beautiful, she was extremely competitive, as she cheating in the Lava Game, scaring the 12 year olds. Andrea’s 2nd impression of Vidal was that he was deep, a real thinker. And that he was easy to beat in the Lava Game. Andrea invited Vidal out to a future WYD meeting, and the seeds were planted.
Over the next few months, Vidal and Andrea became really good friends, and a lot of their getting to know each other came on drives home from youth events and gatherings with friends. It started off with Andrea offering Vidal a ride home after one such gathering. After dropping everyone off in the Marfori Taxi, Vidal was always the last one to be dropped off as he lived closest to her. Thus, they would get alone time, able to speak, share, and get to know one another. Vidal got creative, even selling his car on ebay just so he could get more rides home. Very smart. Except he then had no way to get to work in the morning. Not so smart.
Anyway, as their friendship blossomed, they were officially a couple of after a hike at Shannon Falls with the youth ministry. According to Andrea, Vidal kissed her first. Vidal’s thought was “this is something that we’re gonna do together for a very long time.” Andrea wasn’t sure if he was talking about the kiss or their relationship. But it didn’t matter. Andrea was smitten. And Vidal strategized on breaking the ice with Andrea’s parents. Rumour has it that he played the Lava Game with them.
While with the teens, Vidal and Andrea kept it professional and subtle, focusing on the teens instead of themselves. Thus, they didn’t hug, they didn’t hold hands, they didn’t take pictures together. And Vidal still didn’t drive to any events.
Fast forward a few years to July 2006. As the two of them talked more and more about marriage, Vidal planned a date to the Westminster Abbey in Mission. For those of you who don’t know, the Abbey is a Seminary where young men study to become priests. While looking forward to a nice day, Andrea was naturally a bit confused: this was truly going to be a make it or break it day. Shades of God or the girl.
They went for a walk under the hot sun, reaching a look-out point on a cliff, high up in the hills. In her head, Andrea was thinking that this would be a perfect place for Vidal to propose to her. She basked in the glorious sun, mesmerized by the magnificent view. How wonderful it was to share this with the man she loves.
Too bad the man she loves was 5 feet behind her, shaking and ready to throw up. Vidal is afraid of heights, and thus the only view he was admiring was Andrea’s back as SHE enjoyed the view off the look-out. This is the same guy who gets nauseous riding the escalator to the 3rd floor of Metrotown. I’m surprised he even made it up here tonight.
He quickly composed himself, and suggested they go for a walk to a nearby pond. After talking for close to 45 minutes, Vidal was ready to say those 4 magic words in popping the question. Well, it was more of a statement actually, and a beautiful statement it was: “My mom has been the woman of my life for the past 26 years, and now I’d like to ask you to be the woman of my life so I can share the rest of my life with you.” And with those 39 words, Andrea started crying in happiness. Vidal was crying too, but only because they were still above sea level.
To add to the incredible scene, an eagle was flying overhead. It was very appropriate given the prayerful surroundings of the Abbey: but this bird wasn’t a bird of PREY rather a bird of PRAY. Vidal: you have both God and the girl. You and Andrea truly are a match made in heaven. May God bless you both.