A Lifetime Romantic
Cesar Alviar used to tell his wife, Grace, that everyone is born with a fate, and "your fate was to marry me." He saw her dancing, long hair swaying, at a party in their native Philippines and asked where she lived. He was quiet and modest, she said, but very handsome.
It took him three years to win her heart. But he stayed romantic. After 28 years, he still brought her flowers and opened doors for her. He loved to take her ballroom dancing. Three years ago, they renewed their vows. Mrs. Alviar wore an embroidered Filipino wedding dress. Their friends teased them "You still answered `yes,' in spite of everything?" Mr. Alviar pointed out that they had been married three times, in a civil ceremony, the religious service, and then this one.
His wife always drove Mr. Alviar, 60, to the bus station in Bloomfield, N.J., so he could get to his job as an accountant at Marsh & McLennan on the 94th floor of 1 World Trade Center. "He always kissed me before he got out," she said. But on Sept. 11, he hesitated after the kiss. "It was like he wanted to say something, but because I was rushing, I just said goodbye."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 8, 2001.