John’s parents divorced when he was a toddler and he immigrated from Cape Verde to the US as a teenager with his mother. His dad died a couple of years after he immigrated, and John never flew back for his dad’s funeral in Cape Verde. Fifteen years after his dad’s death, he went back to Cape Verde to visit his father’s grave and grieve his death.
Maria also immigrated to the US from Cape Verde but her brother still lived there. He was struggling, dealing with financial and legal issues, and she decided to fly out to support her brother.
John and Maria met at a festival on Cape Verde when they were both visiting. They were intrigued by each other’s quest to work through and resolve family issues, and found their similar cultural backgrounds appealing. When they both returned to the US, they talked and texted daily despite living in different East Coast cities. Eventually John moved to Boston to be with Maria.
Their love story of how they met was compelling. Despite developing communication issues, the power of their love story was likely to support them as they worked through their differences.