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The Proposal

Dear Jalen,

It is an extremely rare occurrence to ever see your Dad nervous. I think I can count on one hand the number of times when I’ve seen him rattled by anything – and I wouldn’t need to use all my fingers to do it. So when I experience a time when I see your Dad nervous, I tend to remember it clearly.

The day he proposed was one of those times. I tend to giggle when I think back on that day only because he was so nervous and I had never seen that side of him before.

“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.”

– John de Paola

I had been away from home for a couple days. My job had sent me to help out their Rhode Island facility. Normally I love to travel but I wasn’t exactly looking forward to being away from home. I was relieved when the plane landed and I could finally get in my car to make the drive home. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t call your Dad as soon as I landed. I waited until I was about 10 minutes from home before I called to let him know I would soon be there. I remember he seemed a little frantic and surprised that I was only a few minutes away from seeing him. It was odd but I didn’t think too much of it. Little did I know, he was counting on my calling him when I landed and my having that hour commute home from the airport to prepare himself for the proposal. Instead, I essentially just gave him 10 minutes.

When I arrived home I noticed there were roses laying on each step up to the front door and into the entrance of our home. I picked them up one by one as I followed them into the kitchen where I found your Dad waiting for me.

Now, here is the part where I wish I could tell you all the little details. The exact words of all the wonderful things he said. I am very sheepish to admit that I honestly just don’t remember. I am so sheepish about it that it caused me to not post this last week as I had planned. I kept thinking surely there is more that I will remember to add to this story but my memory fails me entirely. I enlisted your Dad for some help. The conversation went like this:

Me: “What do you remember about when you proposed to me?”

Your Dad: “Uh….(insert embarrassed grin here)…I don’t know. I remember I was nervous. And that is extremely unusual.”

Me: “Yeah. And I had called you 10 minutes away from home instead of the hour like you had anticipated? And you had laid a rose on each step of the front porch leading into the house?”

Your Dad: “I laid roses on the steps and through the entrance?” He says this with pride. “I don’t remember that but it sounds like a good idea though.” Then he laughs. And I laugh because your Dad is a goofball.

I also feel relieved because he doesn’t remember any more than I do. The thing is, when you’re nervous it’s hard to remember much of anything at all.

Here’s what I do remember. He said wonderful things, yes. He was very sweet, yes. What exactly did he say? I don’t remember! As nervous as he was, which I remember clearly, I was so surprised and nervous too. This was not anything I was expecting. I was shocked.

Then I saw the ring. I was double shocked. Triple shocked. Shocked beyond words. It turns out, your Dad has exceptional taste. He gave me the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring I had ever seen. I remember he was so proud of the ring. Understandably so, it was exquisite. The diamond was so clear it literally caught the light and sent sparkles everywhere. To this day, I often get compliments from complete strangers on its beauty and how it sparkles.

When he asked me to marry him and I said yes, I remember very clearly a giant sigh of relief from him. Relief that all of the nerves and build up to this moment could finally pass and we could celebrate this beautiful moment of our lives together.

I was the luckiest girl in the world to have your father propose to me. I remain the luckiest girl in the world to be able to call him my husband. I am just as smitten today as the day we got engaged.

xoxo,

Mama

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