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Be mine: Marriage vowed in Chile cave-in

From Karl Penhaul, CNN
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Mine rescue marriage proposal
  • Jessica Yanez and Esteban Rojas have been together for some 25 years
  • They have three children and two grandchildren
  • Rojas has asked Yanez to marry him in a church ceremony once he is rescued

(CNN) -- From disaster -- comes something good.

Esteban Rojas is one of the 33 miners in Chile who have been trapped underground for more than three weeks. He's had a lot of time to think. And after much thought, he's decided to marry his wife.

Yes, his wife, Jessica Yanez.

The two have been together some 25 years, have three children and two grandchildren.

Rojas and Yanez had a civil wedding years ago but never had a church ceremony as is the custom in Chile.

Soon after he was found by rescue workers, Rojas sent a letter to wife asking her to marry him.

"Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married," he wrote.

Video: 4-inch tube keeping miners alive

Yanez said the note made her shout with joy.

"I think he thought about his family at that moment ... and that gave him the strength to fight on," she added.

Miners were able to speak with family members for the first time on Sunday through a line that was rigged to connect the men with life above ground.

Each relative had just about 20 seconds -- time that the soon-to-be newlyweds spent planning their wedding.

"I was worried he might not mention it again, but he said we should get married in church. He'd asked me if I've already chosen the dress," said Yanez, after talking to her husband. "Of course I told him we would get married."

The couple will have to wait.

Officials have said it could take as long as four months to rescue the miners.

"We know the rescue will take a long time, but we won't lose hope," said Yanez. "He always said he planned to grow old with me, and I plan to grow old with him. Our love is very deep."

Part of complete coverage on
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