TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - At 15 years old, Pahola Molina never thought she’d meet the love of her life — especially not at a night club.
“I shouldn’t be at a dance club at that age,” Pahola said, who admits she was too young to be at club when she met husband, Alex Ramos, more than two decades ago.
Alex and Pahola danced together, however, that wasn’t what brought the two together. At the time, Alex already had a girlfriend.
“The girlfriend got there and wanted to pick up a fight with me.” Pahola said. “I don’t even know the guy, you can have him, he’s all yours.”
The couple were all smiles as they remember how they first met each other.
“She definitely caused a great first impression,” Alex said. “Later on I found out she was still in high school, I was in college at the time already ... so that was it, I didn’t pursue that anymore.”
Two years later, Alex and Pahola reconnected once Pahola started college.
“I was like, ‘I remember you, you were that guy that caused me to almost get my hair pulled out,’” Pahola said. “We started dating really young.”
The couple married when Pahola was 19 years old and will celebrate their 23rd marriage anniversary in August. They have since expanded their family and have four children together.
“I claim four, but we have three that are biological our children,” Pahola said. “We took my nephew in when he was younger ... from the sixth grade on, he stayed with us.”
Pahola and Alex’s adoptive nephew is 21 years old, their daughter is 19 years old and their sons are 17 and 10 years old. While the family frequently enjoys going to see movies together, they also take their adventures abroad.
“We like to travel,” Alex said. “We like to, ideally, do one big trip on a yearly basis and part of it starts with getting everyone involved."
Pahola and Alex give their kids the opportunity to choose where they want to go and plan the entire trip together.
“Alex is really good about — okay, do a little research and tell me why you want to go there,” Pahola said. “We’ve been really fortunate because our kids have been able to go to China, to Japan, to Russia, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and in some of the countries where the need is great, we have been able to do service projects.”
Pahola, Alex and their kids have had opportunities to help orphanages and villages as a part of their travels.
“They’re really good about helping and trying to do service,” Pahola said.
Pahola and Alex share different religious beliefs, but they said it’s respect in their relationship that has helped them last through the years.
“This is something from the get go was a little bit unusual,” Alex said. “The area where we grew up and where we met — many believed that it was going to bring about issues in the future. We always had respect for each other and our beliefs and I think that’s been key."
After 23 years, Alex and Pahola agree that as long as they’re raising their kids to be the best they can be, their religious differences play a minor role in their relationship.
“At the end of the day it’s between him and I,” Pahola said.