I know some of you already know, and I haven't had a SECOND of free time to blog about it, but I'M ENGAGED!!! Steve proposed to me Friday afternoon (3/16/12) and boy was I surprised! It's not easy to surprise this girl, so kutos to Steve for pulling it off. And he had everyone involved. And I've been promising to write about this AMAZING engagement story.
I was going about my random day...doo duh doo...trying to figure out a shopping trip with out-of-town friends and getting ready for my day when my best friend Sarah calls me to tell me that her car broke down out where she had a photo shoot that morning and asked if I could come pick her up. So off I went, completely clueless, to go pick her up at Stony Creek Metro Park.
When I pulled up and saw Sarah, she asked me to park and get out cause she wanted to show me something. I thought it was weird and I started getting suspicious. (at this point, I thought Steve was on his way to Michigan in a few hours, not knowing he had been there already) Then I saw a rose on Sarah's car and I knew. She gave me rose, grabbed my arm and started walking. She said "You know how much I love you, right?" "Of course I do." "Good, as long as you know." That's all we could exchange. We walked a 2 mile path - yes, crazy long! But every 200 yards or so I was met with another rose being held by some of the most important people in my life: First, my sweet friend Dalaina and her husband Byron, whose friendship grew out of Jeremy's death and our ability to connect of very deep levels about life and love. She's one of my sweetest friends, but also a woman I strive to be more like. As Sarah handed me off to them, they started walking me down the path, telling me what I meant to them. Tears were starting to come as I started to realize what was entailed in this 2 mile walk.
Next I met Sarah's parents, who have taken me in as their own, helped me with the kids, supported me, donated their time and advice, and have loved me and my kids a ridiculous amount.
After that came Chris and Kristan: these two have shared so much history with me, children being born together (their daughter Tori was born the same day as Carter), and so many memories. They have loved me, laughed with me, challenged me, and taught me about life.
Next was John and Bekka - these two stepped up and took care of me and my family when Jeremy died and have become some of my best friends because of it. They were the people I called on when I needed something, and I always knew they'd be there. They are some of the most self-sacrificing people I know.
Next on the list was Adam and his sweet wife, Kelly: Adam is Steve's best friend since childhood, but he is also my minister. No, not just my minister, but a dear friend of Jeremy's who stood up to speak at his funeral, who came to my house to comfort me, who sat with us in the hospital as we watched my brother die, and did his funeral as well....Adam has blessed my life in ways he probably doesn't even know. And he's one of my favorite people.
After that came Steve's parents, who drove up all the way from Indiana early in the morning to come support Steve and I and to tell me that they loved me. It meant so much to see them there and to hug them and to know that I will once again marry into a great family.
Next was Jodie. Jodie who without batting an eye, took care of every detail from the second Jeremy died without letting me know about any of it. She is the woman I go to for sound advice, for creative inspiration - I'm pretty sure Jodie knows something about everything! God placed her in my life with such purpose and to have her there was very special.
After Jodie came Chris and Vicki. These two were one of the couples that Jeremy and I spent a lot of time with, and who have continued to stick by me through my hardest days. They are good friends with Steve and currently live in the same town as him, so I know they will continue to be a couple that we spend a lot of time with.
Next came my family. My mom, brother Matt, and his girlfriend Kalee (my dad had to work) - they hugged me and told me how happy they were for me and filled up my heart to know they took the time to be there for this special day.
And finally, stood Jeremy's mom and sister April. When I saw them from a distance, my knees got weak. I couldn't believe they were there - not because they're not happy for me, but because I know what it takes to go through grief and still support me in a new relationship. Their presence meant so much to me, and to know Steve took the time to ask them to be there just made me cry uncontrollably.
All these wonderful people, who are not only important to me, but who stand beside me in my relationship and support my happiness, even if it means facing grief they haven't dealt with yet. They each spoke to me, telling me why they loved me and some even wrote letters, but their presence said more than their words ever could. I continued to sob as Sarah met up with me on the path again and walked me down the final piece of it where I met the sweetest, most precious sight: Steve all dressed up, sweating in the unexpected hot weather, nervous and so handsome waiting for me. It is a vision that is very clearly burned into my mind as one of those snapshots I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Through all that had just happened, I don't even remember what he said to me. I don't even think I officially said yes. All I remember is him getting down on one knee. This man that loves me for all that comes with me, accepts and encourages my still very strong love for my dead husband, loves my children, loves God, and whose character makes me want to be better. This man who grabbed my heart very quickly and who has very carefully held all the broken pieces of it and continues to help me put it back together. But also a man I cherish for all he comes with, for all he's been through, and for all he has become because of it. This man whose daughters have taken over my heart.
Our engagement will be a very short one. But I'm so thankful our stories have come together in such a way that it can only be a testament to God's grace and love. I'm thankful to have found someone Jeremy would approve of (he and Steve were friends, in fact) and who has proven to be someone I can't wait to share life with. I feel very blessed to have found two such men in my lifetime.
Oh yea, I can't forget to show you this AMAZING ring I got out of it too!
(I wrote about it on Widow's Voice as well, if ya wanna check it out)