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A Lansing couple’s love story

Through the years and across the miles, Cindi and Abi are “together forever”

“Marriage is not easy,” says Abi. “It requires work and patience—but it is worth every minute.” (Photo provided)
by Carrie Steinweg

Lansing, Ill. (February 2018) – We’ve arrived in the month of romance. For some, Valentine’s Day is a time to reach out to someone they may have secretly admired. For others, it’s an opportunity to celebrate their love and relationship.

Every couple has a unique story of how they met and fell in love. Cindi Krusza and Abi Duran shared theirs with us.

They met in Mexico

The two met in Mexico in 1996 on the day that Cindi arrived for a two-year mission trip. After driving by car from Chicago to the town of Tenancingo with her roommate, they arrived at the home where they would be staying. A church gathering was happening. Abi was in attendance at that gathering, but Cindi said she was so tired and foggy from the drive she doesn’t remember him being there.

They met again soon after and seemed to know early on that they were a good match. Although Cindi was not supposed to date while she was there, she and Abi couldn’t stay separated. They fell in love over the two years she was in Mexico. As it neared time for her to return home, they talked about marriage.

“We were married in the United States because if we married in Mexico, the visa process would have been a lot longer and more complicated. Abi came to the U.S. with a fiancé visa,” said Cindi. “When we applied, we didn’t know when he would actually receive his visa after applying, but we had 90 days from the receipt to get married. It made wedding planning a little complicated. It was kind of crazy and very stressful.”

The two wed in 1999 and decided to reside in Lansing where Cindi’s large family is from. (She is one of nine children.) Abi’s family in Mexico includes eight siblings and three half-siblings. Cindi is a junior high Spanish teacher and Abi works as a senior financial analyst in Chicago. They are the parents of a 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.

Love story Q&A

What were your thoughts the first time you met your spouse?

Abi: I thought she was pretty and she seemed reserved.

Cindi: The first time I met him was the first night I arrived in Mexico. My roommate and I had driven from Chicago with a truck full of belongings. I didn’t think anything about him. I was scared and exhausted.

Tell us about your first date.

Abi: We went for a long walk of about 8 hours that started at 4:00 a.m. This is a Holy Thursday tradition of my town, there is a pilgrimage to a religious site in a town that is about 11 miles away.

Cindi: We met in Mexico. I was working as a missionary and was not supposed to date “the locals.” Abi was just about the only person I could speak any English with. We became friends. He invited me to go on a one-day pilgrimage to a town near ours to celebrate Easter. I was hooked.

When did you know you were falling in love?

Abi: I used to take the bus to commute. After a long day at work, I went back home, and she was waiting for me at the bus stop, when I saw her I thought I saw an angel. I was in love.

Cindi: I realized when I came home for Christmas and all I wanted to do was go back to Mexico so I could be with him.

Tell us about the proposal.

Abi: I never proposed, we just decided to get married. Our conversations were more about our future together so we knew we were getting married.

Cindi: I agree with Abi, there was no official proposal. We just knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. We were both broke, and so I didn’t get an engagement ring until after we were married.

Is there anything you would change about your relationship?

Abi: I wish we could live in Mexico.

Cindi: No. I think Abi might say that he would prefer to have stayed in Mexico instead of coming here to the United States. I tease him that he is the only Mexican in the United States that really doesn’t want to be here.

What advice would you give to younger couples about how to have a successful marriage?

Abi: Marriage is not easy and requires work and patience—but it is worth every minute.

Cindi: Believe that marriage is forever. I think since Abi and I know that we will be together forever, we want to help each other become the best people we can be. They say to go into your marriage with your eyes wide open and then close them half way after you’re married—meaning, know what you are getting into and then let go of the things you discover that you didn’t realize beforehand. I think when you go into marriage, you are never 100% sure of what you are getting into. I have been pleasantly surprised!

“This is one of my favorite pictures of us,” says Cindi. “It’s right before we got married. We used to do a lot of hiking when we were dating. I was a poor missionary and he was a poor college student.” (Photo provided)

Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who has lived in Lansing for 27 years. She most enjoys writing about food, people, history, and baseball. Her favorite Lansing Journal articles that she has written are: "Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew," "Why Millennials are choosing Lansing," "Curtis Granderson returns home to give back," "The Cubs, the World Series, fandom, and family," and "Lansing's One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis."


  1. I met them separately, Cindi as a music booster mom/teacher. Abi as a music booster dad chaperone. When I realized they were married I just thought “what a great couple!” Both committed parents & real nice people. It is so cool to read about their amazing romance!❤

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