Lovin' Leydi- Happy 20th Birthday!
When Seleck called home to tell Rigby and myself he had fallen for a “Peruvian Princess,” to be quite honest I wasn’t quite sure where this road would lead us. But it took me to Lima, Peru- twice once to meet Leydi and once to bring her home. Both times were filled with adventure and storybook romance. There is nothing quite like a knight climbing a top a white horse and traversing continents while slaying dragons of immigration and following boundless dreams to rescue his Princess in a land far away.
Truly, “their story” is one for generations. One which they will tell their children and their children will tell their grandchildren. Leydi is both street smart and sweet smart and we are so lucky to have her as a member of our family. She returned with us from Peru on New Year’s Day and she and Seleck were married January 17th in the Cedar City Temple. In comparison to most fiancé visa processes, Leydi’s Visa process went quite quickly and smoothly. I believe unseen angels hovered near she and Seleck.
My heart hoped for a speedy process but my mind believed differently. Seriously, I was hoping for a summer wedding (June 2020). What an amazing blessing it was that they were able to be sealed in the temple before the world was turned upside down by the Corona Virus.
Leydi was just getting her “immigrant” feet settled when the Virus planted itself on US soil. All of her avenues to learn English closed. Her connection to her culture and those who spoke English shut. Her world became dark and lonely and homesickness patrolled her heart. But that sassy street smart heart pulled her through. Leaving your country, your family, your home is not an easy thing- for anyone- her attitude and strength speaks volumes.
When I ask Leydi if she misses Peru, she says, “not so much, but I do miss my family.” Leydi and Seleck hope to bring her family to the states where her two younger brothers, Maverick and Anthony can have access to a better education and her parents can enjoy the peace our rural community provides.
What’s next for Seleck and Leydi? Seleck is a Junior in college where he is double majoring in Philosophy and Spanish and then he wants to attend law school and specialize in immigration- go figure. Leydi has just begun the English program at the University. She hopes to attend regular classes next fall and obtain a degree in business.
Blending two cultures is not easy, but these two are making it work. They know what it is like to fight to be together, and together is where they wish to be.
Leydi and I don’t always understand each other’s words, but our hearts have communicated just fine. After all, we do have one thing in common, the love for a brown eyed boy- the one she calls husband and the one I call son.
Happy 20th Birthday Leydi Shannon Pena Chavez Rigby. I am so grateful to your mama Ruth for giving you life and for sacrificing your presence so that for now, you can be with us