As we all know, life is not straightforward; it takes time to figure ourselves out, get the perfect job, and find our other half. Therefore, life was not any different for Maria Teresa Cobar.
She was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States as a 27-year-old single mother and worked for many years as a nanny and housekeeper. She occasionally dated, but “found it hard to find the right man,” and since her priority was her daughter. “I really didn’t need anybody else,” she said. But when she least expected, she met Carlos Suarez.
Suarez had moved from Cuba to Miami over five decades ago with his wife and their son. He then started a jewelry business, which now belongs to his nephew, and in 2006 he became a widower, but he never lost hope of finding love again. Soon enough he met Cobar, and the two connected right away. Suarez said that “When she came out with her walker in front of me, I thought, ‘Not bad,.’” So “when she came by, I said, ‘I’m not letting her get away.’”
So it happened, they became inseparable; Suarez attended Cobar’s favorite arts and crafts activities in the nursing home. They watched TV together, danced at parties; Suarez leading from his wheelchair. And they also watched many sunsets together. Everyone in the nursing home called them “the lovebirds.”
“That was their nickname. You knew exactly who someone was talking about when they said that,” said Allison Almirola, activities director for the Aventura Plaza Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, where the couple lives.
No longer after their meet-cute Suarez proposed by saying, “let’s get married’. And Cobar said yes. She walked down the aisle wearing a white veil and champagne-colored lace dress, while Suarez wore a long-sleeved, cream-colored guayabera. They exchanged vows at the nursing home where they met.
Cobar’s daughter, Ana, took care of the decorations and flowers while the nursing home provided the arch and balloons. It was an actual wedding said Katrina Suarez, granddaughter of the groom:
“I don’t think I’ve been to friends’ weddings that were this elaborate. Everybody was ecstatic and all the old people were so happy. It was just so nice to see something so sweet.”
The nursing home employees all chipped in to surprise the newlyweds with a mariachi band; the music inspired Suarez to get up from his wheelchair and dance with his lovely bride.
“It’s not every day that you get to witness love like this, and especially at this stage in life,” said Ilene Zweig, executive director for Plaza Health Network Foundation, which supports some of the programs at Aventura Plaza.
The couple now shares the same room, and they couldn’t be happier. Cobar said it was worth waiting for Suarez, and she also told her daughter Ana that “Men like him do not exist anymore,” and that “She thought he was very polite, very considerate, very special.”
Their first trip as husband and wife will be for Thanksgiving dinner at Cobar’s daughter house. She is absolutely thrilled that her mother found love; she said “They’re such wonderful people, they found their soul mates. It shows there’s no age limit for love.”
The couple also has plans to have a beautiful honeymoon, out of the nursing home, and enjoy life together as much as they can. A heartwarming reminder that love has no limit, it is stronger than color, culture, sexual orientation, and definitely age.