Just when you thought it had gone away for good- the story kept going…. here is the last installment in case you are wondering where we left off.
Over then next few months, our relationship changed. It went from a loving, tender, fun dating relationship to a wonderfully intense, rich and passionate courtship. Michael was earnest in his desire to properly court me and I was relishing in the love he was pouring out on me. We had some of the best times together. Walking through Boston and Cambridge while discussing the "what if's" of our future together. The whole time with starry eyes and stolen kisses.
Over the summer that year, while we were both home, Michael was busy making plans. He spent a nervous night wringing his hands and asking my dad's permission for my hand in marriage. I have to laugh about it- considering I think my parents yelled "yes, you can have her" before the "may I have your blessing…" even came out of Michaels mouth. That was the easy one. Next, Michael had a really emotional and uneasy dinner with his parents. See, Michael is the youngest, and at 23, he was considered still very young- and certainly not ready for marriage. But, Michael was amazing- he stood his ground. He lovingly thanked his parents for everything, and told them of his plans. It seems odd now to look back and see how different and wonderful our relationship with his parents is now.
That fall, at school, I knew without a doubt that he was going to propose. And soon. So for a few weeks, he threw me for a loop. He took me on dates. BIG dates almost each weekend. We went on a cruise around Boston harbor, we went for a hike…even out to nice dinners. Each time, my hopes were high- my heart and stomach were in a tizzy each time. Would this be the day? And each time…no.
To say I was frustrated and anxious would be a complete understatement. After about 3 weeks of this pain- we were going to go out to dinner in Harvard Square. And he was late. 2 hours late. And no phone call (mind you, this was before cell phones). If you know me, you know my BIGGEST pet peeve is when people are late without calling. SO I was LIVID. And scared. Finally he shows up, and I silently walk beside him in the chilly fall air. He turned toward me and asked what was wrong. oh, no. IT all came out as yelling- and telling him how frustrated I was that I had been patiently waiting, and NOTHING.
I remember him just staring at me. And taking my hand, apologizing quietly and curtly and telling me that I had to just be patient. Little did I know that he almost just took the ring out of his pocket and threw it at me at that moment of my tantrum.
I am so glad he didn't.
The next day we had planned on going apple picking. The day dawned warm and beautiful. Michael, uncharacteristically showed up early with breakfast in hand. I was surprised, and puzzled. I quickly put off the notion that today was the day. We drove and went apple picking, we drove to a park, which ended up being a camp not in session- and took a small hike. We then headed back to Boston. Michael told me we had to make dinner. I sighed and said, ok, we can make it at my dorm. He said, no he had reservations. At the Four Seasons. Uh, ok. My heart picked up a bit. Home we went- got all gussied up and headed by cab to the restaurant. We actually walked all over Boston Public Gardens first. Back and forth, for no reason. At least none that I knew.
We made it to dinner, where there was a huge bouquet of roses waiting at our table. I could not swallow. The waitress commented that it must be a special day- and Michael quickly said no. I smiled and just tried not to throw up in my water glass.
Michael told me that we had tickets to go see Evita that night, so we headed across the Boston Public Gardens to catch a cab. It was so beautiful out. Warm and clear. The lights on the bridge across the swan boat pond were reflecting off the water- and the weeping willows were swaying in a gentle breeze. The garden was quiet and lovely. Michael stopped me at the middle of the bridge. He looked at me and I knew.
"I love you." He said "and I know that the Lord has brought us together. I can see that with every day. And I don't want to waste another day. So, Will you marry me?"
I don't think I breathed. I really don't. I gasped and cried "Yes!!!"
He pulled the ring off the tip of his pinkie. Oh it was (and is) amazing. He put it on and it fit perfectly. We kissed, with passion and a promise of eternity. At that moment, I knew nothing but joy. At that moment, my life changed forever.