By Roselyn Karatsi
Julia Pagril, 25, and her husband, Marino talk to each other like new love birds. She glows like a young bride and with her sweet countenance and smile, even the most cautious is comfortable. They shared their love story . . .
Flowers welcome me at the front door, but there are many more all over the house. At first, Marino did not feel comfortable with flowers all over the house. He felt like they were invading his space. But he has grown to appreciate them as much as Julia does.
Speaking to Julia, you would think she went to the best schools and was one of the best graduates at university. You could not be more wrong. She is a school drop-out, but talented and hardworking.
“Without God for even a second, I am dead,” says Julia. “When you are patient with God, you always get the best.” She is a big dreamer and hopes to be able to showcase her gift of singing in the near future.
She sings like an angel and likes to dance and play the guitar. She is currently the head of cake decorating at The Cake Lady’s House, Minister’s Village, Ntinda.
Julia and Marino got married on October 25, 2008 in a modest ceremony.
Marino says: “There was no fancy cake or cars, but we loved the wedding.”
“Marriage is an answered prayer,” says Julia, for whom marriage has always been a heart’s desire.
She lost her mother at five and her father at seven. She suffered emotionally, physically and mentally. She did not receive the love she craved for from the people who took her in after her parents’ death. Instead, she turned to God, praying to turn 18 quickly, so that she could officially be an adult.
So, in 2001, she ran away from home and went to Kawempe, a Kampala suburb. People from her church, Victory City Church in Ntinda, used to give some money, with which she would buy doughnuts and vanilla water.
Julia later got a job on Dembe FM, as a presenter on the kids’ life show. At the end of the month, she was disappointed when they did not pay her and she decided to leave.
Looking for love
Faced with an uncertain future, she decided to go to the prayer mountain off Entebbe Road, to fast for two days for a job. When she got back to church, she was told that Jennifer Musisi, the Kampala Captial City Authority boss, who attended the same church, was interested in employing her.
Musisi heard about Julia’s suffering through someone in the church. Musisi and her husband adopted Julia. Being a hardworking girl, Julia was a joy to her new parents.
Despite the new found sense of belonging, Julia longed for a significant other. Someone who would love her, be her friend and confidant. Her desire led her to write a list with every quality she wanted in a husband. Among the items was a white man with curly hair, a long sharp nose, nice lips, great body and nice legs. Her plan was to date the man for three years and get married at 22.
Every evening, she lay on her bed and desperately cried out to God for a loving husband. She even fasted for a month. When she was done, a number of men from different walks of life showed up in her life, but none of them was Mr. Right.
In 2005, God brought Julia and Marino together. Julia was a dancer at the time. “I first saw Julia dancing in church and was amazed. She danced like she had been created to dance,” Marino reminisces.
She cannot quite remember how it happened, but she became friends with Marino’s sister and they started jogging together. Their friendship blossomed and Julia started visiting Marino’s sister at home.
That is where she met Marino, a Ugandan of Italian origin. His father Onforio Pagliucoli was a miner from Italy, who married Maria Wambaye from Ntugamo.
They never said much to each other. One of those days, Julia was not feeling well and could not go home. She wrote a note on a piece of paper asking Marino to ask his sister if she could sleep over. She was afraid to talk to him because he was always quiet. Marino replied on the same paper that it was fine for her to sleep over.
He continued to write, asking her why she was always sad. She replied that he could ask her about anything except her life. Then he wrote; “I would want to take some of your pain and carry it on my shoulders.”
Julia was touched by his gesture. He then asked her to guess what he would do to take away her pain. She did not reply, but imagined that he was talking about love. She was saved by the bell when electricity went off. They both went to sleep.
Learning to love
The next morning, she found a note saying he was disappointed that she could not guess what he would do to take away her pain.
So, he tried another tactic and asked Julia to teach him how to dance. This got them closer, but Julia was still cautious.
Julia would get angry at the slightest thing. She did not know how to love though she wanted someone to love.
“I asked God to teach me how to love,” says Julia.
Soon her and Marino were dating and she asked him to wait till marriage before having sex. “It was not easy but we did. I believed that a man who would accept to wait for me till marriage would be one who truly loves me.”
She remembers that Marino always bought her nice gifts, but his love was greater.
Having come from different backgrounds, they found it hard to cope with each other sometimes. “She was really complex,” says Marino.
“He was immature, and I really prayed to God to help him mature faster,” says Julia.
When they met, Marino was a student and did not have much. But she knew God was in charge and he would provide.
Julia prays for her husband and is his greatest cheer leader. “We have different minds and thoughts, but he loves advice as long as I don’t take it too far. Besides, as a wife, I have to advise him sometimes,” she says.
Keeping the flame
They are both busy, but have learnt to keep their love candle burning through playing together. Julia did not know how to play and take jokes but today she does. “The jokes keep me going,” she explains.
Saying sorry and appreciating each other has brought them far.
Julia also considers cooking for Marino a priority.
“He pays the bills, buys the food and makes sure that I look good, so why not cook and take care of my loving husband?” Julia says.