Cross-Country Leap of Faith
A daring hunch to move across the country that led to 37 years of marriage
Today we share with you the meet-cute of Patrick and Mariana — a love story that began with a broken femur on a ski slope and a simple wiped-away tear that stage for an enduring romance. As their paths intertwined, their relationship blossomed against the backdrop of a daring cross-country move and the highs and lows of life. With 37 years of marriage under their belts, Patrick and Mariana offer invaluable insight into the ingredients of a successful partnership: flexibility, trust, and the willingness to address challenges head-on. Join us as we unravel their heartwarming journey and timeless lessons.
So, Patrick and Mariana, how did you meet?
Patrick: Well, it happened in the White Mountains in Arizona, where we were both skiing. Mariana was skiing for the second time in her life and I was a part-time ski patroller (I got a free pass out of the deal)! I’d been skiing half the day when the ski patroller called us and said there’d been a bad accident. We got down to the shack and it was actually a girl I knew! Her name was Diane and she’d broken her femur.
Mariana: See, Diane was one of my friends, and she’d invited me along to go skiing with her and another gal. I thought Diane knew how to ski, but she went ahead of me, and then the accident happened.
Patrick: When I turned around in the patrol shack and saw Mariana who was crying, with makeup running all down her face. I reached over and wiped off the makeup with my hand and tried to calm her down. I didn’t think I’d ever see her again, but then…
Mariana: Diane was transported to Tucson where Patrick and I both lived, and both worked in hospitals there. I would go and visit Diane in the hospital where she was recovering. Who would show up? Patrick, who worked there! He’d bring me yogurt, he’d spend time with us there, and check on Diane. And then one day he was calling me and asking if I wanted to get coffee. And that’s how it started!
How did the relationship progress from that first date?
Patrick: She had a boyfriend, and I had a girlfriend! I was supposed to fly to Kansas City and spend a month with her doing rotations there. Mariana promised to get me there on time and said she’d drive me to the airport. So she came and picked me up, but then she piddled around.
Mariana: I got lost in Tucson! Despite growing up there, I couldn’t get him to the airport on time.
Patrick: I thought it was pretty special, how she made me miss my flight. Then later on in life I realized, she’s late to everything. I wasn’t special!
Mariana: Within a year, Patrick moved to California for a residency. I took a chance, and broke up with my boyfriend and moved to California to join Patrick. I told my parents, “This may not work, I don’t know this guy that well, I’ve never moved for someone like this.” I took the chance, and it was the right move. It was pretty fun, and we’ve shared so many experiences and done so many things together since.
When did each of you know that the other one was ‘the one’?
Mariana: I think Patrick was afraid the whole time. I felt that it was either going to happen or it wasn’t. I was really happy being with him and luckily within three years, we got married! We got married in Sun Valley, Idaho, and of course it was ski season, so we skied at our wedding.
Patrick: I sort of knew this was going to be the person I was going to spend a lot of time with, or hope to spend a lot of time with, the first time I saw her in the ski patrol shack. I thought, “Wow, all that makeup coming down her face, this is a real person.”
What has been the key to 37 years of marriage?
Mariana: Being flexible. Being trusting, which goes both ways. You’re not going to win every battle, so it’s about weighing: what’s most important to me? Am I going to get upset because he doesn’t put the cap on the toothpaste? That’s minor when you’re focused on the big picture.
Patrick: Also, I think having great kids. You worry about them, but you know they’re always going to do the right thing.
Mariana: You just pray that they will make the right choices, and we do our best to support them in it.
Do you have any advice for young couples that might be nearing important life decisions?
Patrick: Get a dog first! If you can’t raise a dog together, then you can’t do it.
Mariana: You have to not be afraid to put things on the table. You can’t hold those things in. If you do, it’s not going to work. If you disagree, you have to both realize that you’re on the same team. You’re not against each other, it’s the issue that’s driving you crazy, so address the issue. Whether it’s money, whether it’s religion, whether it’s children, you have to walk into your marriage with wide open eyes and a trust that you can always go to each other.
🤔 Poll of The Day:
Would you take a leap of faith and move across the country for someone?
Click below to vote (and see the results)!
📊 Last Week We Asked…
“Would you be open to finding love in the workplace?”
75% of voters said they are open to it, while 25% said that they would prefer to keep work and love separate.
Interviewed and transcribed by Chandler Ryan.