The day we decided on forever

June 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm
filed under Uncategorized

I was sitting at my parents’ house on Memorial day, after dropping Drake off at work so he could leave for the Mackinac Policy Conference, and my mother was reading, aloud, my childhood diary, a tiny blue hardcover notebook with teddy bears on the front, filled with scrawled pages. The thoughts I found most important to record forever at the time were making us laugh hard. It was mostly tales of my older sister being an older sister, but my handwriting and tone of voice made my mom recollect my 8-year-old innocence. It was nice to be able to make her laugh 19 years later. I was my mom and dad’s littlest girl.

Sunday night, May 29, 2011 at around 10:30 p.m., was monumental in my life. Drake asked me to marry him. It feels unreal to write it down or say it out loud. I can’t believe it’s true, that he loves me, that he wants me, that I’m the girl he’ll love forever. I’m the most incredibly lucky person in the universe. Honestly, this is all I’ve lived my life for. To have a relationship with one person who treats me like I’m the only other person in the world, who understands me and respects me and has patience with me, who takes my mistakes and flaws and regrets and forgives me and loves me through them, who keeps his promises and constantly surprises me by proving how loyal, helpful and giving any one person can be — I could write for hours about how wonderful and perfect he is but I just want to say that I love him more than anyone has ever loved anyone and I want him to be happy more than I want anything. Thinking about him makes me overwhelmed right now. My whole heart is warm with love for him. These feelings are new to me, the intensity of them, but I love them. I wanted to write them down so I remember how I feel forever.

The day felt ordinary, but special, and we spent it together. We stayed in bed late, and in the morning he held me, saying “I need to get as much of you as I can since I won’t see you for a week.” We went out to breakfast and he ordered egg beaters, because he’s generally intelligent and self-confident. I ordered eggs and hash browns and 3 meats because I’m generally an impulsive disaster. It was just nice to be with him. After breakfast we put on tennis shoes and decided to go be active for the day. He took me to Meijer, Target, K-Mart, the flea market, Dunham’s, another Target, Dick’s, Sears, then the second Target again, and I bought a bubble-gum pink and white wheeled monstrosity named Lulu, because it was the perfect bike — OK, the most perfect bike there was for me.

My new bike

My new bike

We set up the car rack (so confusing, but Drake is talented in every area I fail at) and loaded the bikes and were ready to go to the park, but then the tornado sirens wailed. We drove home (and the bikes stayed put the whole time). We had time to stop for Slurpees though. I love him.

At home we fixed the heights of seats and handlebars, rode out of our driveway and back, and then parked the rides in the garage because fat raindrops were falling. It was hot out, so we cleaned up the patio and sat under the awning and watched it rain. He brought all the hanging baskets to the patio, for fear they’d fall in the wind, and it looked like a bright flower garden everywhere. He turned on the string of overhead lights (these are landscaping lights we purchased in the springtime, not to be confused with Christmas lights), which I always tell him is so romantic. It was all relaxing and beautiful, and he brought out a bottle of our favorite red wine, a blend of syrah and cabernet. It felt picturesque, so I took some snapshots with my phone at this time.

Engagement Day

Our backyard

Now I know what he might've been thinking about...

Love

We sat and sipped til the storm stopped, when we came inside and I started on dinner. Pork sirloins with mushrooms and a balsamic glaze with fresh green beans and baked potatoes, all with herbs from the garden. It was nice. Afterward, we relaxed, and he worked on his laundry so he could pack. I folded mine too while we watched Wall-e in the basement. At one point, I went to sit next to him and I just cried. It was illogical of me to feel so sad that he’d be gone for five days, but I did. Last year my heart just broke without him. All year long I’ve hated the topic of Mackinac and I haven’t let him talk about it, and I’ve been bitter with work because of their nagging focus on the conference. And it’s sad to be without him because we’re just never separated. I’m comfortable with him and I love his company. We’re always together and I never get tired of it. Every single day I love him more.

After my breakdown, and he was so comforting, he hates to see me sad — and I’m ashamed of this next part of the story — I asked him when he was going to ask me to marry him. I thought, “If he’ll just tell me that it’s coming sometime within the next six months, or this summer maybe, I’ll be happy.” I honestly had no idea what time frame he was thinking of, and I knew he’d had no time to possibly go ring shopping. The topic is often on my mind, and I am terrible about confronting him about it pretty regularly, and he always responds quietly with an “I don’t know” sort of desperate shrug. It was mean of me, but I selected that moment to be very assertive in asking him a time frame of when he was going to ask me. When he replied that he didn’t know, I was sad. I sighed, went back to folding my underwear and he went upstairs. When he came back down, I was still sad. My feelings were part frustration and impatience with him, and part sadness about his trip and general insecurity. But he led me up the stairs, saying we should go outside.

When we got out into the patio, I saw that he had lit the torches which were big and blazing, and he had turned the string of lights back on and it was dark and pretty out. And we sat on the loveseat in the patio that he surprised me with last summer and we cuddled.

He held my hand and asked me if I was happy with my manicure. “I don’t know,” I said. “I’m getting them redone on Thursday.”

“What color do you think you’re going to get?” he asked.

In a flash, I thought, French tips, which I know are your favorite, which I don’t have done very often at all, but I wanted to make you like them, because I want you to find me attractive, but I just shrugged. “Pink,” I blurted stubbornly.

He laughed. “Pink to match your bike?”

“Yes,” I said.

And then he said, “Why don’t you get them to match this?” and he pulled the ring out of his shorts pocket. No box, just white gold and three diamonds flashing between his thumb and forefinger. It was dim outside and I thought I couldn’t see straight.

 He said, “Will you marry me?”

I just looked at him like a deer in headlights. I didn’t reply.

 “I want you to marry me,” he said, a little urgently, and he was smiling. I still just sat there.

I just felt so shocked and ashamed that I’d confronted him. A small part of me thought “Is this really happening right now?” while another part of me thought “Yes! Finally!” and I had no words at all.

“Yes?” he finally asked, and I nodded my head and we kissed.

After that I lost it. I had this gorgeous ring that he’d slid on my finger and it fit perfectly, and I just felt so overwhelmed that I just buried my face in his chest and sobbed. There were many more kisses and many more tears, and eventually I said “YES!” without doubt. I couldn’t believe how happy I was and how absolutely emotional I felt.

I was wearing cotton capris and a bummy gray T-shirt, and he was in dirty shorts and a green T-shirt, both of us in our bike-riding clothes, and he was barefoot when it happened, and my hair was in a sloppy ponytail, and the neighbor’s dog was barking into the night, and the lawn bags full of clippings smelled like rotting grass, and I’d painted my nails a shade of sky blue that’s just terrible for nails and he knew I always wanted the proper manicure in advance of that moment, but it was perfect. He didn’t fly me to Paris or take me to a fancy restaurant or get on one knee or make a speech and it was perfect.

It was perfectly Drake. It was a little unplanned, a little different from what’s expected, kind of off kilter like both of us are. It was rich with quiet sincerity and heartfelt sweetness, just like him. And it was just us. No one else knew in the world. It was just us and that barking dog, and it felt just right. It was urgent and impatient, and overwhelmed and emotional, full of my loud tears and full of his few words but lots of implications.

And suddenly everything was just a little different. My life was officially going to be spent with a perfect man, and I could count on him forever. I didn’t need to ask pathetic questions like “are you going to forget about me while you’re gone?” because I know I’m who he’ll want to come home to. And I don’t feel over-anxious to think about a future with his and my children, or the two of us getting old together and taking care of each other and leaning on each other forever, because now I know it’s certain. This man loves me! I feel like The Chosen One. And every breath I breathe is filled with my desire to be a better person, to be the type of person who deserves a man as good as he is. I just want to love him until the moment I die, and if I do that, I’ll have lived a full life.

I could have soaked it in forever. But when the emotions calmed, we went inside to get ready for him to pack and then go to bed. I ended up saying “Wait!” and insisting on taking some photos of us, of the patio, of the night. And he took out the tripod and we took some. I want to remember everything and every emotion clearly, and I want to tell the story to my grandchildren, and now I’ll be able to illustrate it. And that’s why I’m getting this all down now, while the lump is still fresh in my throat and the happy tears haven’t dried yet. I love this man and I want the world to know it and I want to capture how I feel at the happiest time of my life. And 19 years from now maybe we can look back and read it and laugh or reminisce. I don’t know where we’ll be then, but I know we’ll be together.

I’m the luckiest girl alive!

We're getting MARRIED!!!

Happy kisses.

Where he asked me

It was romantic and perfect for us.

So excited!

Drake picked it out all by himself!

I love it.

Obligatory.

Just us. 🙂

3 comments

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  1. chelita robinson-lucas

    on June 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    This is the most awesome love story EVER! Simplicity is the spice of life…..so I’ve heard! I wish you and Drake the most wonderfully fun filled and memorable union EVER! You are a gem Kerry and I truly appreciate you sharing such an intimate and personal part of your life with me! BTW: I want an invite…..I buy great gifts!

  2. Vickie

    on June 2, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Love it! Almost got me to cry. I totally understand the impatience thing, I wasn’t born to be patient to begin with. Congrats again!

  3. melanie

    on February 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Stumbled across your blog and was enchanted by your words. You really should write a book! Wishing you a very happy life! Melanie