Sometimes people search for love for years. Sometimes they find it when, or where, they least expect it.
One Durango couple found love in the hallways of Four Corners Health Care Center. Carla Vigil Shoub, 52, tried to pass Don Shoub, 71, both in wheelchairs. Don turned around, and it was love at first sight.
“She said, ‘Beep, beep’ with her horn, and I said, ‘Road runner, beep, beep,’” he said. “And that’s how we met.”
The couple married in a civil ceremony at the La Plata County Clerk’s Office on Dec. 5 and rode away as the only newlyweds on the Opportunity Bus, a local paratransit service. Their relationship was unexpected – neither one was looking for a new partner. Over time, they bonded over grief, movies and friendship.
“My brother’s always dreamt of having someone in his life, and I think Carla on some level has, too,” said Christine Mullholand, Don Shoub’s sister. “For them to just meet in the hallway like that ... that is just like a fairy tale.”
Carla, who was a greeter for new residents, supported Don when he was lonely after arriving in August 2018.
“I wasn’t looking for it. I had another boyfriend,” she said. “It blossomed into something else slowly.”
When her former relationship ended, Don helped her through the breakup. When a close friend and table-mate died, Carla did not want to eat lunch alone and invited Don to join her.
They stayed up late watching movies and bonded over The Bangles and Queen. They even went to prom together at the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine event.
The couple consoled each other after the deaths of Carla’s longtime friend and Don’s mother.
“I think it brought us together,” Carla said.
Their engagement in December 2018 was a mix of traditional and modern, she said. They stayed up all night to pick out the rings. Don took a traditional approach by asking Carla’s brother for his blessing. Then she proposed to him.
The two match: She loves to read, and he loves to listen, Mullholand said. Don takes care of Carla, who has cerebral palsy, when her mobility is challenging. They talk about everything from politics to the environment and local events.
“Me and her, when we first met, she swept me off my feet,” Don said, which sent his new wife into a fit of giggles. “She smiled at me, and my heart melted.”