Monday, November 26, 2012


He didn't propose. I hear of all these fabulous, romantic and most of all surprise proposals, and I wonder if I am the only girl who never got one. We had been talking about "when we are married" for a long time. One evening we decided when the "when" would start. It was still exciting and scary. I have always believed that the reason He didn't surprise me with a ring was because He knew better. I am not demanding, but I am very particular (of course He knew this long before we were talking about "when"). Like every girl I had thought about my fantasy engagement ring.

Without recognizing the development of my taste in engagement rings, I understand now how my choice might have evolved. My grandmother's ring was a ruby. Her mother was Danish and it was popular in her country to have a colored stone. I never saw my grandmother's ring. She lost it before I was born. However, it sounded very exotic compared to the colorless stones of my mother's friends.
I had narrowed my ring down to three choices: ruby, sapphire, or emerald. The color of the ruby and emerald felt too intense for me. But the most important reason for my choice was that historically sapphires were given as a token of fidelity. That was romantic.

So when the "when" came and He asked me what ring I wanted-I knew exactly. Oh-He was surprised, and even though He didn't say it He was troubled. It was different and unique for the time and place, and that meant He would get flack from every corner that weighed in on the matter. Of course when I finally got the ring everyone wanted to see it-and we got a lot of "ohs", (if there were an exclamation for Huh? thats what I'd use here). When He got that "oh" He never excused himself by explaining He just gave me what I wanted, thereby vindicating His poor taste and judgement. Rather, He took it like a man, and smiled at his good fortune because He was able to make my dream come true.

He indulged... more reason I love Him.

Monday, November 19, 2012


He came to pick me up. This was right before we became engaged. He was driving His Plymouth, (the one I decided needed to be painted firemist blue). After He came to the door I assume that He waited for me to finish getting ready, (as this is what He remembers most about our pre-marriage dating, although, now I am usually ready before Him). Then we must have discussed where we were going. The point is He was not in any hurry.

We walked to His car and He opened the driver's-side door for me. Of course there was no center console in His car, and I slid in over to the middle of the bench seat (there was no seatbelt law either). Before He turned the ignition, He leaned across me and opened up the jockey-box. Reaching inside He retrieved a pink rose. It had a fully blossomed head. He cupped it in His hand and gave it to me. As I took it from Him I realized that it didn't have its stem attached. It crossed my mind to take it back in the house and put it in water, but I realized it wasn't going to live very long without its stem. I kissed Him and then held the head of the rose in my hands until we got to our destination.

I think about Him getting me that rose. His driveway was lined with rose bushes. I imagine Him going out to His car to come over. He sees the roses and decides to bring me one. He goes into the garage and retrieves the clippers. I can picture Him studying the rose bushes looking for the rose that is most fully bloomed and perfectly formed (I have seen Him do this many times in later years). He also searches for the one that has the most beautiful universal color. He then cups the rose with the stem between His first and middle finger, and clips it off right below where the blossom opens. It was a gift of spontaneity, but one that was measured and appraised. It was the sweetest and most innocent gift of love.

He picked me a flower...

one more reason I love Him.

Monday, November 12, 2012


It was a brisk fall evening. The sun had gone down and the street lights had turned on. It was a school night so we couldn't go out. He called and asked if I wanted to go running. We would both leave our homes and meet, about 1 1/2 miles in the middle. Sidewalks were far and few between, as were street lights. The roads were edged by a wide gravel shoulder and crowned high for runoff. Since rutted gravel was risky in dim light I usually ran on the edge of the asphalt.

I was almost to the half way point when I saw the headlights of a car behind me. I moved to the gravel and slowed down, as I was worried I would hit a divot and roll my ankle (done that). The Jeep didn't pass. Instead it slowed down and seemed to be following me. I kept thinking He would be along any minute, but I was scared. I veered off to a house and went around the back. The Jeep passed the house a couple of times and then stopped down the road withs its lights on and engine running. I waited by the side of the house and searched the dark road ahead for Him. Finally I saw Him coming closer. I stepped out from the house startling Him. I told Him what happened. I was really quite shaken, and I think He could sense it. He suggested we run back to my house and He would go home from there.  

As we headed back I started running toward the inside of the road trying to find a more even surface. He fell behind me and came up on my right side (car side). I was thinking He was trying to get the flattest road too. It took me quite awhile to realize that whenever we were together on a road He purposely took the outside. He was protecting me. I don't know if He was taught to do that, as a gentleman, or if it was instinctive. It doesn't matter why He did it, or why He still does it. It matters that He does.

He ran on the outside... more reason I love Him

Monday, November 5, 2012


I wasn't sure I heard Him. At the end of a date we didn't want to leave each other. But the evening was over and it was inevitable. Usually, we prolonged the night by sitting in silence, thinking time might crawl a little slower. His eyes would close. Usually, I thought He was feigning sleep, but more often than not He really was asleep. This particular night we were both tired. It had been a long day. I was happy to sit next to Him while He slept. Our heads were close enough that I could sense His breathing, but they weren't touching. I felt Him lean His head closer to mine, put His mouth against my ear, and whisper "I love you".

I didn't say anything. I wasn't sure I really heard what I thought I did. I thought, what if I said it back and I had misheard Him? So I just sat there. I know I heard Him. What did He think when I didn't say anything? He must have felt so awkward. He didn't say anything. He didn't move. We continued to sit there pretending nothing had happened.

If I could take anything back it would be that moment. I would turn and whisper in His ear "I love you too". Before that night I had thought about saying it many times. Its scary to be the first one to say it, because you are afraid it won't be returned. Then you've put yourself out there, bared your soul, and been left to flounder in your uncertainty. I left Him to flounder.

I remember aching to say it first. I remember my heart pounding trying to gather enough courage to say the words. Every time we saw each other I thought "I'll say it this time", but I couldn't. I was afraid He wouldn't say it back. If He felt anything like I did it took an enormous amount of courage for Him that night. How many times had He felt the same way I had? How many times did His heart race trying to get the courage to tell me? How many times did He fail, because He was uncertain if I would return His feelings? That night He loved me enough to say it, regardless of the consequences.

He said it first... more reason I love Him.