Couples seal their love with Valentine's Day wedding
It's typical in a fantasy or fable to see the eyes of an awaiting groom sparkle as his bride approaches.
On Friday, Tyson Garza's eyes did more. They gleamed as he saw his soon-to-be wife step out of a white stretch limousine on Main Street and walk toward him on the steps of the gazebo at DeLeon Plaza.
The couple didn't chose Valentine's Day because of the abundance of romance - although it pours out in buckets between the two of them - they chose it because they couldn't wait another minute for their happily ever after to begin.
In front of a modest group of friends and family, the couple of said their I do's and then drove off into the sunset for a couple "good ol' burgers" at Hungry's-Thirsty's.
Neither Garza, 39, nor his wife, Robyn Heller, 38, grew up in Victoria, but for various reasons - be it work or romance - the two found themselves calling the Crossroads home. Garza, a postman, was tired of delivering mail in the snow in the Amarillo area and made a transfer to Victoria and met his wife on his mail route.
Heller worked in a doctor's office at the time, and the two, as Garza puts it, "got to talking one day" about life and their children.
"It was like we knew each other," he said. "We had gone through the exact same things from our previous marriages - we both went down that broken road, and we had so much in common. It was like we knew each other for 40 years."
Heller has a son with severe tubular sclerosis and autism, and Garza found himself invested in their story.
That, Heller said, was one of the many things that caused her to fall in love - that and his love for his children.
"It was amazing and endearing to hear him talk about his kids," she said. "Our children was a passion we shared."
Garza has four children: a 13-year-old son and three younger daughters, ages 3, 8 and 9. Heller has three: two boys, ages 8 and 18, and a 7-year-old daughter.
Together they make one big family - and joke about trading their cars in for a bus - but if you ask the children, it all just works.
Garza's eldest son, Tristan, said if he had to narrow their story to one word, it would be spectacular.
"We all just love each other," he said.
Heller's best friend, Roxy Hill, echoed the sentiment.
"Unbelievable," she said about their love story.
"You see these pictures of old people holding hands and still in love after a lifetime - that's going to be them."
Leading up to the wedding, Garza borrowed from the 12 Days of Christmas song and created 12 days of Valentine's Day for Heller.
Each day he gave Heller a single rose, be it a real rose, a fake rose, a chocolate rose or a teddy bear holding a rose, which practically scared his wife to death.
That morning, she went to get into her car before sunrise to go to work at Dow, and she saw the hairy creature in the front seat and became scared.
"I thought there was a hairy hobo in the front seat," Heller laughed.
Garza plans to keep the tradition alive for their anniversaries - maybe minus the big, scary teddy bear. Maybe not.
"She is my mirror," he said. "We're each other's mirror. They say that opposites attract, but that doesn't last forever. Mirrors last forever."