Friday, February 8, 2008

Engagement Day

Today is the 10th anniversary of the day that John asked me to marry him... and also the day I said 'yes.' :) I've told the story countless times, but don't think I have ever recorded it, so I thought this would be a fun way to do that.

I was living in Indianapolis and John was still at school, about a hour north in Upland at Taylor University. He came down most weekends and stayed at my parents' house so we could spend more time together. On the night before February 8, 1998 we talked about our plans for the next day and decided it would have to be something outside because of the unusually warm forecasted weather. Before John could even say a word, I said, "Oh, I know, we should go down to the canal and take a walk. We haven't been there in a long time." He casually agreed. Later I would find out this was his idea, too. He didn't have to convince me or make me suspicious by doing so.

After church we came home and I decided to change to a sweatshirt and jeans, then we drove down and parked near the canal for our walk. It was beautiful and sunny, and when we got near to a bend in the water I suggested we just sit on a bench for a few minutes and enjoy the warmth. Again, John agreed, and of the three benches available, I picked the one I would later find out was his choice, too. Again, no convincing. I was far from suspicious.

As we sat there, he began to say all kinds of wonderful things to me. I wish I had paid closer attention, but the thought I had running through my head was: "I wish he'd save some of this stuff for when he's going to propose!" And then, lo and behold, before I knew what was happening, he was down on his knee in front of me, and presenting me with a tiny black velvet box with the most beautiful diamond ring inside.

I made him ask me twice. He had truly taken me by surprise and I was in such shock I barely remember how he asked. I also figured that this was going to be the only time in my life I'd hear that question, God willing, and I wanted to hear it again.

The first thing I wanted to do was tell my mom, and John was prepared with change in his pocket and the knowledge of the closest payphone (this was ten years ago, mind you). When we returned to my truck there were a dozen roses on the seat, but my head was spinning, so I barely thought about how they had gotten there.

Back at my parents' house, we were taking turns calling friends and family when there was a knock on the front door. John told me to stay put and close my eyes. He silently opened the door, then returned to me and told me to put out my hands. I thought, There's more? He placed in my hands a framed picture of the photograph above. Earlier in the week, he and our photographic genius friend DL scoped out a place he could hide with his camera. They asked permission from the firestation and DL perched in the window and brought a friend to chase away anyone who tried to sit on that one bench that would create the perfect shot.

This morning I woke up to find a card addressed to me with this picture on the cover and loving words from my hubby on the inside. We look like such young kids! It's been a decade since he asked... and since I said 'yes'...


Anonymous said...

It makes me so happy to think about your engagement story again. And I LOVE that photo so much! You two (now four) are the best and I love you to pieces! (from Cessy)

Anonymous said...

God had it all planned... but thank you for saying "yes" to our son.
Love you, Nana and Papa