VALENTINE'S DAY ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS
``I was dancing on a cloud'' is how Jesse Rosales described his first dance with his wife Tilinda, who also used dancing in her essay for the Valentine's Day contest. She noted they have added five sons to their duet and they are, from left, Preston, 7; Julian, 4; Brandon, 3; Christian, 14 months; and Justin, 9. (Jean Neice/Herald)
It started as dancing on a cloudBy Jesse Rosales writing about his wife, Tilinda
AS I SIT HERE and reminisce about the days I first met my wonderful wife, I tend to chuckle as my five boys play around with their toys.
It was a warm and humid night on March 14, 1984, in Miami. My boss and I arrived at Violentes Restaurant to enjoy a famous dinner show. As the hostess walked us back to a table, I noticed she sat us near a table with an older lady who was sitting with a very attractive young lady.
The young woman was wearing a long black dress that seemed to be tailored to her curves. She had long, thick brown hair that reached to her waist. She wore a pearl necklace that just seemed to radiate every time she smiled.
My boss and I were eager to watch the show and enjoy the great food, but as the food was being served I could not focus on the show or the food.
I kept trying to hear what this beautiful lady sitting at the table next to me was saying. Every once in a while she would look at me and smile. Her smile just seemed to capture me. Her big bright eyes and smile are something I will never forget.
Eventually, I went over to her table and asked her to dance with me. She looked into my eyes and said, ``Certainly.''
She then turned and looked at the older lady and asked if it was OK to dance.
She nodded yes. The first song was ``Copacabana'' by Barry Manilow. I will never forget how she looked that night, especially that first dance.
She and I moved around the floor and it felt like I was dancing on a cloud with a goddess. I knew just then that she was the one for me. When I held her close to me and looked into her eyes, I felt this presence of wanting to be with this woman unlike any other women that I have been with before.
This lady's presence seemed to be so natural at my side, that it felt we had known each other for a long time, even though we just met. When she told me her name as Tilinda, I thought, ``How unique!'' This woman was unique in every sense of the word.
As the night continued, we ended up at each other's side. We dated the next few months and one year later were married.
We are now looking at our 13th year. It just seems like yesterday when we first met and she still captivates me when she looks into my eyes.
Note: Tilinda Rosales also wrote an essay describing their encounter and it parallels her husband's. Neither knew the other had sent an entry to the valentine contest. Part of Mrs. Rosales' entry:
The next thing I knew we were dancing for hours which turned into years. I am proud to say that night my whole world changed and I feel complete beyond my dreams. I met my partner who dances with me every day of my life. Some days we dance the ``tango,'' sometimes ``the bump,'' but in the end we always come out ``waltzing.''