Andi and Claudia worked together. Claudia knew instantly that Andi was for her. Andi had other priorities. Recently promoted to a management position, she was focused on her career and wasn’t looking for love. Claudia was persistent. Andi discovered that Claudia’s fluency in Spanish helped in her store. Claudia made Andi’s store a frequent stop on her rounds. A friendship began to develop.
They had their first date Valentine’s Day 2008. A first kiss changed everything and their relationship quickly blossomed.
Things were going well for Andi and Claudia. They had purchased a home together. Claudia met Andi’s children. Andi met Claudia’s large family. Unexpectedly, Claudia had a stroke which left her partially immobilized. She required hospitalization and then rehabilitation.
Their townhouse was not conducive to her recovery (the three flights of stairs were impossible for Claudia to navigate) so Claudia moved in with her parents for her rehab. Being separated proved quite difficult. Both felt the strain of the unknown. What would be the permanent implications of Claudia’s stroke?
Claudia’s love for Andi propelled her to work harder at rehab (and Andi occasionally would help her sneak away from rehab). She and Andi had planned to get married and she was determined to walk down the aisle. Through significant physical and emotional strain, she regained her ability to walk.
The couple married on Cinco de Mayo in DC. Claudia walked down the aisle and both were surrounded in the love of their friends and families. Their wedding planning and wedding day had the normal share of snags (Andi — a shoe gal — forgot her shoes!) but proved to be a very special day for all. Claudia presented a special gift to Andi’s children during the ceremony.
Claudia and Andi keep their relationship strong by honoring their four rules for a healthy relationship: 1) honesty 2) mutual respect 3) communication 4) taking time for fun. Hear them discuss these in this video.
Their unity through the difficulties they have had to face recently has shown me that love and trust can heal wounds, protect you and guide you to a better place. It can shelter you from harm and even in the darkest moment of your life, it can bring you up and keep you going even when you think you have nothing left to give. They are a true example of a couple, partnership and love.
Pam Sclar, Claudia’s sister who nominated the couple for inclusion in the 2013 Hot Healthy Love series
Andi and Claudia’s love story has been developing for over 5 years now. They look forward to growing old together. We are grateful they chose to share their story with us and wish them all the best.
Claudia and Andi are the fifth couple featured in Safe Harbor’s 2013 Hot Healthy Love series. Read the previous love stories here:
Learn more about how you can support healthy relationships by visiting our Healthy Love RVA page.