Once upon a time — three decades ago, to be exact — two women working the ticket counter at Eastern Airlines became friends.
One had an infant daughter, the other was pregnant expecting a son. Eventually, as everyone knows, Eastern folded in the late ’80s and everybody, including Miami Springs resident Miryam Knigge and Monika Ramos from Coconut Grove, went their separate ways.
You want fate? You want “meant-to-be?” You want “small world?” We’re about to give it to you.
Two Saturdays ago, a very special wedding took place at Curtiss Mansion. Who went down the aisle?
Tim Knigge and Susanne Medina. So what, you say? Well, get a load of this.
Tim was the little one in Miryam’s belly when she worked alongside Monika in the early ’80s and Susanne was the small infant Monika was nursing back then.
In between was a 20-year gap. By incredible coincidence, in August 2004, Tim Knigge asked a girl he worked with out on a date. By now you’ve probably figured it out. The girl was Susanne Medina.
Where it gets even better is where the two worked at the time. The same place their two moms worked, Miami International Airport, only in their case for TSA Security.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Miryam Knigge. “It was my son’s 21st birthday and we were having a barbecue. He wanted to have a girl come over for me to meet and I just shrugged and said, ‘Fine.’ ”
But this wasn’t just any girl she was about to meet.
“When my daughter told me she was going to a barbecue with a guy she had just met, I remember asking her his name,” said Ramos, who remarried after being widowed, thus the different last name. “She told me Tim Knigge and I immediately stopped what I was doing. I asked her what the boy’s mom’s name was and she didn’t know.”
“I remember calling Tim before we went over to ask him what his mom’s name was,” recalled Medina. “He was like, ‘Why would you care about that?’ with me and when he told me it was Miryam I told him what I thought was going on.”
Delightfully startled, Ramos insisted on going with her daughter to the party to surprise her old friend.
“I didn’t have a car at the time, so I needed a ride and didn’t have much choice,” Medina said with a chuckle. “I was like, ‘Great, I just met this really nice guy and here I am bringing my mother to his party. How long will this last?’ ”
“I couldn’t believe it when she walked through the door,” said Miryam Knigge. “I simply said, ‘What are you doing here after all these years?’ and, of course, then I learned what was happening. We just couldn’t believe it and were so excited.”
Of course, Tim and Susanne had just begun their courtship, so who knew how long it would last.
But, as if the gods of love and fate would have it any other way, the beginning of a long courtship that would last nearly a decade was under way.
Tim, a 1997 graduate of Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Virginia Gardens before moving on to high school at Columbus, had enlisted in the military. Just a year into their relationship he was shipped off to Iraq for two tours of duty.
“I think I wrote to him every day while he was gone,” said Medina. “You didn’t think much about it back then, but looking back on it now, it’s really something how it all happened.”
“Everything clicked with us from the very beginning and obviously the two moms were sure excited about it,” said Tim Knigge, who has spent the last seven years working for the Hialeah Fire Department since his return from overseas.
Perhaps what all involved with the wedding were most proud of was that everything was kept local.
Not only was historic Curtiss Mansion the site of the ceremony and ensuing reception of approximately 100 guests, but the rehearsal dinner the night before was held at Crackers Restaurant on Canal Street. The wedding cake was ordered through Cheesecake Etc. on Swallow Drive and even the flowers were handled through Ivan Garcia of Poinciana Flowers on the Circle.
“This area has become such a part of us that we wanted to keep everything local and we’re really proud of that,” said Miryam. “It was a truly special day for everyone, most importantly Susanne and Tim.”
The newly married couple backed up their love of the Springs area as well as they just bought a house on Hammond Drive and are all moved in and ready to begin their married lives together.
“Having traveled around the world as much as I did, I came to really appreciate how great of an area Miami Springs really is,” said Tim Knigge. “We definitely wanted to make it our home.”
But no matter where they live or where their future takes them, nobody will ever be able to deny the past for Susanne and Tim and the incredible coincidental circumstances of how they came to be.
“It really makes you wonder sometimes,” said Miryam. “You think of fate and how everything in the world sometimes can all tie together and that somehow, someway, the entire world is interconnected. I honestly think that maybe everyone in this world might just get along a little better and there would be less conflict if they all looked at it the same way.”