You’ve read about how we met. After that, we dated many years before marriage. At the time I was frustrated about it. I wanted to get this thing started already, it had been over 5 years at this point. We didn’t argue much, but if we did it usually involved the phrase, just ask me already!
Unknown to me at the time, he had a plan (a good one) and I just had a “right now” plan. He wanted to complete college first and both of us have steady jobs. You know, mature adult things. I just wanted the life without the planning.
It was a Sunday night. He was at my tiny, one bedroom apartment telling me he was going out of town to visit his family for the Thanksgiving holiday week. I couldn’t go because of my work, so I was already missing him.
It was late, we needed to get up early the next day. A music awards show was on in the background and as he was leaving, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” came on. I turned it up and sang along, exaggerating pointing to my ring finger. Years later I found out this obnoxious little performance almost caused him second thoughts!
I went to work Monday feeling sad he was gone. He called me to say he’d arrived at his family’s house. I believed him. After work I stopped by to pick up some groceries, taking my time and slowly looking around. I ran into a friend and we talked in the parking lot. He was gone, so I had nowhere to be, but I did need to get home to let my dog out.
I arrived home, walked to the second floor, heavy bags in hand. I fumbled with the lock, walked in and stood in the doorway very confused. First thought, where is my dog? He’s usually jumping on me by now. I hear scratching behind the bathroom door, how did he get in there? (Looking back, I’m not sure how I wasn’t afraid at this point.) All these thoughts and I hadn’t even noticed the room.
The lights were dim, why were they even on? Everything is strange. I hear it, “Little Moments” is softly playing. I look down, red rose petals are all over the floor. My tidy mind immediately wants to pick it up. Wait, those petals are making words. Will You Marry Me?
I hear a loud thud. Then another. The grocery bags are now at my feet. I cautiously walked along the petal path and rounded the corner to the kitchen. It was covered with white, twinkling lights. He was there! He was already down on one knee, ring box open and presented in the air.
I jumped, I screamed, I cried. He stood up and placed the ring on my finger. I said, “Yes!!!” We hugged and cried and hugged again. I realized something, in all the excitement he never verbally asked. (He said technically the roses asked for him.) Just for me, he got back down on his knee and asked to make it official. It had to be official. The answer was the same.
That night and several following were lived on a cloud. It finally happened and I told everyone I saw the great news.
Later I found out he’d been at my apartment that whole afternoon setting up. He was ready and waiting for a long time (since I took my time shopping!) He had to replay the song many times and I’m sure he thought I’d never get home! He said it was worth the wait.
His plan was a good one. Waiting those years, while hard on my patience challenged mind, allowed us to know each other. Really know. We chose to spend the rest of our days together knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and annoying habits. We’d gone through several life experiences, good and bad, and stayed together through it all.
It also allowed us to be established just enough that I could stay home with our babies, which came along a few years later. I told him within the first week after we met that I wanted nothing more than to have children and stay home with them. He remembered that conversation and made it his goal to fulfill mine. I’ll always be forever grateful for that.
When days get tough, because they do, I often think back to those rose petals on the ground that night. When the demands life try to squeeze between our love, I think of the twinkling lights. I’m reminded of the joy and the love.
He’s still my one.
It was worth the wait.