Story by Matt Kennedy
Imelda Pineda had so much love to give when she first met Francisco that one man wasn’t enough. She had a son of her own at the time, but also welcomed Francisco and his four boys with open arms.
Imelda was loving and supportive from the start as she and Francisco got to know each other, then got married and became a big, loving family of eight with their kids, Isaiah (17), Mikaleb (15), Jayden (12), Anthony (12), Riley (11) and Evelyn (8).
Every day can be an adventure with all the kids’ comings and goings, but Francisco wouldn’t trade that life for a second. He gives all the credit to Imelda for making it all possible with hard work and real, genuine love for every single one of them.
She spends her days working as a manager at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Dallas, then makes family her top priority with every other waking moment. Francisco could think of no one better to care for the kids, teach them, and help them grow.
“She has been the best friend, leader, example and mother to all of us,” Francisco said. “She has so much love to give and is the epitome of what a mother should be.”
Imelda sets the tone by working hard and being patient and positive at all times. She has the same love for all six kids, but expresses it differently by forming unique relationships with each of them. Imelda steps up for Francisco and the kids, and she guides the family with patience and love.
“She is able to communicate with each of our children at their level, but can still get our point across,” Francisco said. “She loves all the kids the same. She is their biggest support in all that they do, and she instills a solid base of good morals and manners.”
That quest means everything to Imelda, which is why she works as hard as she does to make sure her kids are honest, caring and respectful. She takes that responsibility seriously while also striking the fine line between being their parent and a friend.
Francisco never stopped pursuing Imelda, from the time they met at a reconnection center in 2002 through their armed services commitments — Imelda to the Army and Francisco the Marines — and back onto MySpace, where they rekindled their flame 10 years later.
“I always thought she was the one that got away, and that if I had another chance, I would like to date her again,” Francisco said. “In 2012, I got my chance.”
Since then, Francisco has been amazed as Imelda embraced him and his sons, then became a rock for their family. Along the way, she has also shown him nothing but support and helped him become a better person, husband and father.
Imelda is carrying on the wonderful legacy of her late mother, Gloria, by being the faithful wife and mother who stops at nothing for her family. Gloria would surely smile and beam with pride as she watched her daughter carry herself with selflessness and grace and grow into such a wonderful wife and mother.
Gloria set that example for Imelda as a little girl, when she was a single mom and worked multiple jobs just to put food on the table. Imelda saw with her own eyes what true, motherly love looked like and how so much became possible through the power of hard work.
Gloria is a shining example of so much good, and Imelda is now living up to it in her own family.
“She is the best thing that has happened to me and our kids,” Francisco said. “She is a mentor, a life coach, a best friend, a mother, a knowledgeable older sister, my best friend and my true soulmate. Imelda has carried on her mother’s legacy and instills her mother’s teaching into our kids’ lives.
“I really admire her and all the effort she placed in making our house a home filled with love and wonderful memories. We love and appreciate her!”