By Maria Bardino
Armando went back to school after his divorce in the island of Puerto Rico. Newly divorced, this father of four was not looking forward to getting married again. He was having lots of fun, learning, which is something he loves to do, and meeting LOTS OF GIRLS.
He was also popular with the opposite sex. And he did enjoy being around women ... even if just in casual flirtations.
In school, Armando met a young woman whom he introduced to this practice. She was most receptive, and became an active member.
Armando found that he kept bumping into her in the most unexpected places, and certainly did enjoy their casual friendship. He felt very comfortable around her. She was a good friend.
Shortly before the big SGI movement in New York, Armando found himself in a jewelry store. He thought it might be nice to buy himself a nice gold ring with some diamonds on it. Instead, he inexplicably was drawn into purchasing a set of wedding rings for a woman. After making that large purchase, Armando shrugged his shoulders and put the box inside his sports jacket ... and actually forgot about it.
He was most surprised to find that the girl he had introduced to this practice ended up going on this trip to New York at the last minute. They shared some very happy moments during this movement as friends.
A short while after the New York trip, the girl unexpectedly dropped by his apartment. He was ironing, and she said, "You know, I would really enjoy ironing your shirt." It was then Armando thought, "I could really fall in love with this girl."
So he asked her to meet him during a coffee break at the university. Then he asked her for lunch (on that same day). Then for dinner (ditto). It was on that that day that they briefly shared their first kiss.
A big Kosen Rufu Gongyo Meeting was coming up. Upon the meeting's close, announcements were asked to be made. Armando, in a split second, felt inside his sports jacket and ran up to the podium.
"Yes, I have an announcement to make. Lucilda, I love you and want to marry you. If you marry me, I will make you the happiest woman in the world."
It was then that an older Japanese Woman's Division leader jumped up and shouted "YES!!!" as Lucilda cried uncontrollably.
She was the leader who had told Lucilda to chant three hours a day to marry Armando. She was the leader on whose shoulder Lucilda had cried uncontrollably. That leader had told Lucilda, "If he does not show any affection by the end of six months, then you move on."
The six months were up.
Armando's fortunes have gone through several ups and downs. Lucilda has been with him all along, and supported the family when Armando went back to school. Even though Lucilda has not practiced actively in a while, Armando asserts that she is a living Buddha ... it's in her behavior.
years later, Armando is known as a model husband who adores his wife.