A Curious Twist of Fate

Do you believe in fate? Is there a supernatural power that determines our course? The relationship between Tyler and Lireika presents a compelling argument that it exists. The week before their wedding, they shared the details of a long pattern of coincidental encounters that led to their recent trip down the aisle.

Bride:  Lireika Cabello Colon, 33, registered nurse, native of Cayey, Puerto Rico
Groom: Tyler Owens, 31, senior military analyst, native of Charlotte, North Carolina
Current Residence: Glen Arden, Maryland
Wedding Date: March 25, 2023
Venue/Location: Le Meridien Hotel – Charlotte, North Carolina

How They Met

(Tyler) My first recollection of meeting Lireika was when I was six or seven years old. My family lived in Charlotte’s University neighborhood, and Lireika’s Aunt Ruth was our next-door neighbor. My mother was one of the first people Ruth met when she moved to Charlotte from Puerto Rico, and they became good friends. I went to elementary school with her children, and we were close friends. Lireika spent that summer visiting with her aunt and cousins, and I had the opportunity to interact with her for the first time. I moved to Georgia when I was ten years old, where I finished high school. 

(Lireika) I used to come to Charlotte one month out of every summer so that we could practice speaking English with my cousins. In the second month of summer, my aunt would send my cousins to Puerto Rico to spend a month with us so that they could learn Spanish. That is how Tyler and I became friends as kids. 

Tyler even visited Puerto Rico with my cousins once and spent the whole summer with us. We would meet at family events, Quinceañeras, and baby showers throughout the years. Eventually, we lost communication when I was 17, and he was 15. 

(Tyler) We were Facebook friends and maintained a passive association as just family friends. The next time we saw one another was seven and a half years later at an army training event at Fort Knox, Kentucky. 

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